Organisers of the Auckland round of the World Triathlon Series have confirmed the news released this morning by the International Triathlon Union (ITU) that the Auckland event does not feature on the 2016 WTS calendar.
Triathlon New Zealand and event delivery partner Lagardere Unlimited Oceania say it came down to a simple case of economics for what has otherwise been a successful and popular event
“This event has in many ways been a hugely successful one for the sport, the city of Auckland and for New Zealand,” said Triathlon New Zealand CEO Craig Waugh.
“Over the five years of this race in Auckland, we have seen the best athletes in the world come to train and perform on a truly wonderful course, one that was universally endorsed by the International athletes, media and the ITU for its location, diversity and spectator friendly nature. The worldwide attention on the city and the exposure through television and social media has been significant, as has been the injection into the local economy through the influx of international visitors.
“The event is however an expensive one to host and very much dependent on mass participation to ensure it is viable. Considerable infrastructure and investment requires a critical mass to make it sustainable, put simply we were not able to reach the required level of mass participation and in the face of increased costs we had to make the decision not to proceed in 2016..”
Lagardere Unlimited Oceania Marketing Director Michelle Pepper echoed those sentiments.
“With the help of our key stakeholders and commercial partners we have done all we can to keep this wonderful event alive, an event that has delivered significant exposure and benefits to the sport and the city. We acknowledge the support of the ITU, ATEED, New Zealand Major Events, Triathlon New Zealand, all of our volunteers who returned year after year, and our sponsors - in particular our naming rights partner Barfoot & Thompson, but despite everyone’s best efforts we have had to make the tough decision not to host next year.”
Triathlon New Zealand will continue to develop and plan for events in partnership with Oceania Triathlon Union and the ITU to ensure the sport enjoys a high profile in the wider community by providing significant events for leading New Zealand and international triathletes to take part in during the New Zealand summer.
CLICK HERE to go to the ITU World Triathlon Series calendar for 2016.