Sailing
Sports 29/03/2022

Barcelona to host the prestigious America's Cup in 2024

Team New Zealand, organiser of this edition, chose the Catalan candidacy

2 min
An image of the last edition of the America's Cup sailing race

BarcelonaBarcelona will host the prestigious America's Cup in 2024. The 37th edition of the oldest tournament in this sport, born in the 19th century, will come to Catalan waters in 2024 thanks to the agreement with Team New Zealand. The New Zealanders, reigning champions in the competition, have decided to put their trust in Barcelona Global's candidacy, which was promoted by a holding company created to obtain private financing for the event, in collaboration with the Barcelona City Council, the Barcelona Provincial Council, the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Port of Barcelona.

Grant Dalton, who manages Team New Zealand, came to Catalonia last week to visit the port's new cruise terminal facilities, one of the Cup venues, and to hear first-hand how both the Government of Catalonia and Barcelona City Council have overcome their different points of view to row in the same direction. According to some studies, this event is the third most watched in the world after the World Cup and the Olympic Games. In a first phase, different boats compete for the right to face the reigning champion, in this case Team New Zealand, in the final.

Dalton was accompanied in Barcelona by Stewart Hosford, CEO of the British group Origin Sports, chaired by Sir Keith Mills. The organisation analysed the other bids, including Málaga (Spain), Cork (Ireland) and Gidda (Saudi Arabia). Auckland (New Zealand) was supposed to host the 2024 edition, but the changes in security plans and budget caused by the pandemic have led Team New Zealand to negotiate an overseas venue, a formula that was already been seen in the past, usually with great economic success, such as the event organised in Bermuda in 2017. In contrast, when it was held in Valencia in 2007 and 2010, mismanagement ended up tried in court, despite the fact that a study published by the Valencian Institute of Economic Research put the impact of the 2007 edition at €2.7bn, generating or helping to maintain 73,859 jobs.

The Cup would take place between May 1 and October 31, 2024. It would have an economic impact of €1bn in Barcelona, according to the organisers, who demanded an investment of over €75m for the chosen venue. Málaga offered much more money, but finally the chosen venue was Barcelona. At the moment there are five boats that aspire to be finalists of a tournament that, coinciding with the Catalan appointment, will premiere the women's America's Cup.

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