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Only five challengers have signed up for the chance to take on software billionaire Larry Ellison's Oracle Team USA in the 2017 America's Cup.

Organizers announced Thursday that Emirates Team New Zealand, Italy's Luna Rossa Challenge, Britain's Ben Ainslie Racing, Sweden's Artemis Racing and Team France have passed muster and paid the $1 million first installment of the $2 million entry fee.

That's an increase of two challengers from the last regatta. But the staggering cost of competing for the oldest trophy in international sports could swamp some competitors, causing Ellison's vision of a grand regatta with mainstream appeal to fizzle.

An Australian team dropped out earlier this summer, citing the high cost of competing.