Just as they appeared set to announce Parker would fight Andy Ruiz Jr for the WBO title in the city on December 10, Auckland council's events arm Ateed have withdrawn their support for the event, leaving it in a state of limbo.and
Ateed Chief Executive Brett O'Riley confirmed last night: "Ateed will not be providing financial sponsorship to Duco to stage the Parker/Ruiz fight."
O'Riley said it was not clear if staging the fight in Auckland would have "the desired outcomes of Auckland's Major Events Strategy" so the decision was made "not provide financial sponsorship for the fight."Looks like the ratepayers of Auckland have dodged a rather large bullet here.
It is understood Ateed's contribution was going to be "hundreds of thousands of dollars".
From another Herald article comes this comment from Howick councillor Dick Quax who is opposed "throwing public money at a private event",
"Did anyone go to Zaire following the rumble in the jungle between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali. I don't think so," said Quax in a reference to the perceived benefits for Auckland.Questions have to be asked as to whether the fight is a goer without some form of public money and if it isn't is there a justification for staging it in New Zealand. If there are real economic benefits to the fight being in Auckland why can't private funding be found to keep the fight there? If the private sector are not welling to back the event then does this tell us they really don't think they can capture (now or in the future) enough of the supposed benefits to justify backing the fight? Does this, in turn, suggest that the benefits aren't there? In which case why have the fight here?