America's Cup: New Zealand staged defence increasingly unlikely with Team NZ set to hit open market for host city

It is becoming increasingly unlikely that a deal will be struck between Team New Zealand and the Government to stage the next America's Cup on home waters.

With less than 48 hours left until the Government's exclusive negotiation period expires, Team NZ boss Grant Dalton confirmed the two parties were "a distance apart."

Team NZ and members of the Royal New Zealand Yacht squadron met in Auckland on Tuesday night and the general feeling stemming from that meeting wasn't positive. 

"I'm not confident that there will be a deal at this point - but never say never - things happen at the last minute," said Dalton

"I think there are other priorities for the Government and we recognise that.

"What the Government is offering is completely reasonable and fair and if that's as far as they can go, then we understand that."

RNZYS Commodore Aaron Young says staging the event overseas could become the financial reality if they are serious about producing a boat good enough to defend the Auld Mug.

"We'd love this event to be in Auckland, but at the end of the day if it can't be here and we can't create a credible defence, then we're going to have to look at other alternatives," Young said.

Dalton added: "In an event when you have a weakened defender, you'll end up with a semi repeat of what happened in 2003, which in my mind was one of the worst sporting tragedies in New Zealand sporting history."

Dalton revealed the expiry of the exclusive period doesn't mean that a deal can't be struck with the Government at a later date, but it does mean the market is open for the highest bidder to become host city. 

"If there's no deal, it's a matter of a door still being open and others opening as well," Dalton said.

“There's no doubt the market for sponsorship is decimated, yes companies are still coming out, yes they're making money, and they're also being very careful."

Since the successful defence of the Cup earlier this year, the Government has pumped $NZ5 million into the team.

Dalton said if they do come to terms with a foreign city, Team NZ would still be New Zealand based and would spend most of their time perparing in Auckland.

"There seams to be this notion that we are about to pack our bags and head to another country," Dalton said.

"In the event that we have to go we will still have a World Series here, we will do our summer training here, we will build our boat here and the industry around us will still supply to us.

"In the end, we will still be the same organisation."