"Volvo Ocean Race" Could Mean Millions for Rhode Island Business - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

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"Volvo Ocean Race" Could Mean Millions for Rhode Island Business

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by Mark Curtis, ABC6 Chief Political Reporter

mcurtis@abc6.com

No one was out on the water in Newport on this cold and snowy winter day, but the enthusiasm for a coming event could thaw that chill.

The "Volvo Ocean Race," an around–the–world sailing competition will be making its only U.S. stop in Newport in May of 2015.

Brad Read, from Sail Newport said, "Newport is to sailing what Augusta is to golf. We are the absolute perfect destination for the Volvo Ocean Race."

With the race stopping over here for almost two weeks, sponsors believe it could bring anywhere from $40 to $100 million dollars to Rhode Island.

Officials hope people will see television and Internet coverage - including Newport - all around the world.

Knut Frostad, CEO of Volvo Ocean Race, said, "Over in the last Volvo Ocean Race we introduced live television. Who knows what we will do in the next event."

ABC6 Reporter Mark Curtis said, "It may be snowing here in Newport today, but come 2015 many business owners here are hoping it will be raining profits because of the Volvo sailing race."

At Benjamin's Restaurant and Raw Bar, news of the Volvo Ocean Race coming to Newport was the lunchtime buzz.

Owners hope it will make the cash registers ring.

Paul Boardman, the owner of Benjamin's said, "It's been great. The America's Cup was here last summer. We had a great, great amount of people in town, 65 to 70 thousand came to watch it. So we are excited about another sailing venue."

As with last year's America's Cup World Series, the State of Rhode Island is budgeting about $750 thousand dollars to help pay the public costs of the Volvo event.

 

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