PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — State leaders on Tuesday hailed news that Newport will be the only U.S. stopover of sailing’s around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race in 2015, saying the selection will boost tourism while further solidifying the state’s status as one of sailing’s top venues.
Teams will arrive at Newport’s Fort Adams in early May 2015 and stay for 11 to 12 days. During that time, the racing yachts will compete in at least one local race and participate in other events designed to lure tourists and sailing fans from around the world to the state’s City by the Sea.
Newport, a popular summer resort 60 miles south of Boston, is to sailing what Augusta, Ga., home of the Masters, is to golf, said Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport, one of the organizations that worked to secure the event.
‘‘We are the absolute perfect destination,’’ he said.
Other stopovers announced for the race include ports in Sweden, Spain, Brazil and New Zealand. Newport will be the final stop before the teams head to the finish in Gothenburg, Sweden. Teams compete for no prize money, only the pride of finishing what organizers said is the longest sporting event in the world.
‘‘It’s one of the last true human adventures on the planet,’’ said Knut Frostad, the race’s chief executive officer, who called it ‘‘the Mt. Everest of sailing.’’
Officials said it’s too soon to predict the number of spectators or the race’s economic impact. But organizers of the event said the last Ocean Race attracted 2.9 million spectators at the 10 host cities around the globe.
Newport vied with Baltimore to host the event. Frostad would not comment on reports in Baltimore media that organizers had first picked that city over Newport but backed out because of scheduling conflicts with the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.
Rhode Island expects to budget $775,000 to cover expenses such as sanitation and public safety associated with the event, Gov. Lincoln Chafee said.
Last summer’s America’s Cup World Series sailing event in Newport drew 65,000 people and generated nearly $53 million in business activity, salaries and tax revenue. Chafee said improvements made to Fort Adams State Park have made it a better venue for large sailing events.
The timing of the Ocean Race could help lengthen Newport’s 2015 tourist season and raise the city’s profile as an international destination. There’s also a possibility that the in-shore race could be televised, exposing Newport and Narragansett Bay to an even wider audience, officials said.
‘‘When you can attract people from around the world, it’s a wonderful victory for our state,’’ said House Speaker Gordon Fox, one of several state leaders attending the official announcement of the event Tuesday at the Statehouse.