Rod Stewart sing-a-long for America's Cup 2021 cost taxpayers nearly $1m

music news 19/03/2021

Taxpayers paid close to $1 million for an America's Cup event that included a sing-a-long with Rod Stewart.

On March 13, a video version of Stewart’s 1975 hit Sailing was played at America’s Cup fan zones as part of Rock the Dock.

Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) said the Rock the Dock event, aimed at using the America's Cup as a way to market New Zealand overseas, cost $918,000 but would not say what portion went to the British pop star

The four-minute singalong ended an hour-long show from the main stage at the America’s Cup village.

An Official Information Act request was lodged regarding how much taxpayer money was used to fund Stewart’s performance.

Tourism New Zealand refused to share his fee, citing commercial sensitivity.

Director Tony Rogers did, however, share that the total cost of hosting the event was $918,000.

Tony Rogers said the event was part of a campaign to promote New Zealand to key international markets "in preparation for borders reopening in the future".

"To maximise the impact to the New Zealand economy of hosting the America's Cup, businesses and government agencies are running a programme of events and activities to lift New Zealand's profile internationally," Rogers said