The odds of the next iteration of the America's Cup being held in New Zealand are "incredibly low," according to economic and regional development minister, Stuart Nash.
On Wednesday, Team New Zealand officially rejected the Government's offer to keep the America's Cup on Kiwi water.
And as the government's exclusive negotiation rights with Team New Zealand expire on Thursday, the Kiwi syndicate can now begin talks with other potential host countries to stage the next regatta.
Appearing on The AM Show, Stuart Nash - who is also the Minister of the America's Cup - conceded that in all likelihood, the cup defence will be headed offshore, with the Isle of Wight having been previously mooted as a potential destination.
"This will still be called Team New Zealand, it would have been good to hold it here, it could still be here - but the odds of that are incredibly low, to be honest," Nash says.
"I do think it's gone.
"We put $99m on the table, it wasn't enough. Grant Dalton and the team are now free to go out and hook their wares anywhere around the world."
"We put $99m on the table - that's the government and Auckland City Council. We thought that was enough to secure the cup here, Team New Zealand didn't and so we are where we are."
But despite Team New Zealand's rejection, Minister Nash is hopeful the Kiwi outfit's desire to win in front of their home fans will outweigh any commercial windfall that might be gained from staging the cup overseas.
"I think they want to hold the cup in New Zealand, we all want to hold the cup in New Zealand.
"It's really disappointing the cup won't be held in New Zealand, but this is the commercial reality of the America's Cup in 2021.
"It's a lot more than a yacht race these days, it's an international business."
Speaking on Wednesday, Dalton explained that Team New Zealand will need to secure the best deal possible to stage the cup, admitting that every single dollar will be needed to ensure the cup can be retained against the financial muscle of other syndicates.
"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 said.
"If there's no deal, it's a matter of a door still being open and others opening as well.
"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."
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 preparing in Auckland.
"There seems to be this notion that we are about to pack our bags and head to another country," Dalton added.
"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."