Foto: Copa América Vela 2024
The America’s Cup, a regatta with a long and distinguished history, will arrive in all its glory in 2024
On March 30, 2022, Emirates Team New Zealand officially announced that Barcelona had been chosen to host the 37th America’s Cup. Promoted by Barcelona & Partners and other public and private institutions, the event is a unique opportunity for Barcelona.
This date marks an exceptional milestone for Barcelona, making it the only city that that will have organized the three sporting events in the world with the greatest economic impact: the World Cup, in 1982; the Olympic Games, in 1992, and, now, the America's Cup, in 2024.
Although 2024 still seems far off, organization is already underway to make the event a major success. But first of all, what is the America’s Cup and why is it so important for Barcelona?
A hard-fought race
Barcelona is no stranger to hosting events of global importance. The success of the Summer Olympic Games in 1992 brought a paradigm shift in the way the city was viewed, earning Barcelona a place on the world map for many reasons, not only for tourism.
30 years later, Barcelona is now viewed as a sustainable, multicultural city that is a magnet for start-ups. It also has a perfect ecosystem for hosting sporting events. The America’s Cup is the sporting event with the 3rd highest economic impact in the world. The race to win the event was hard-fought and is a great opportunity for the city.
Barcelona & Partners, Barcelona Global’s investment attraction agency, won the support of the Spanish Government, local administrations—Barcelona City Council, the Catalan Government, the Port of Barcelona, the Barcelona Provincial Council, and the Barcelona Tourism Consortium—as well as a consortium of private investors. This support tipped the balance in favor of Barcelona.
The quality of Barcelona’s facilities, the diversity of venues allocated for the competition, and the city's experience in organizing major sporting events played a key role in ensuring the success of the bid. The city’s legacy in water sports and the strength of the Barcelona brand also did much to help.
After many months of hard work and public-private collaboration, on March 30, 2022, Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand, officially announced that Barcelona had been chosen. Although there were other strong competitors, Barcelona intrinsic characteristics and the proposals generated by public and private organizations were essential for achieving this important goal.
During the 14 weeks of the event, therefore, Barcelona will not only welcome visitors to the competition, but will become a home for all those who come to enjoy this historic sporting event.
37th America's Cup, much more than sport
Barcelona represents the values of the America's Cup: imagination, technology, sustainability, and the creation of an energy revolution, values that are linked to sailing and the defense of the marine ecosystem.
There will be several firsts, the most important of which are the Woman’s America’s Cup and the Youth America's Cup, being held for the very first time in the history of the event. This will also be the first time that the host city is included in the event logo. The 'B' of Barcelona will be part of the America's Cup logo thanks to the work of the Barcelona studio Practica Design.
Furthermore, the expected direct economic impact is approximately $1 trillion, which will be generated by the large audiences expected, the many brands and companies involved, the ability to attract visitors from around the world, and the duration of the event, which will last some 14 weeks.
Preparations are already underway: at the presentation of the Cup, Grant Dalton and the president of the Port of Barcelona, Damià Calvet, explained that the Moll de la Fusta will be open to visitors to watch the competition free of charge, while the Imax will be a “visual experience” space in which visitors can find out more about the organization, and the Olympic Port will host the youth and women’s competitions.
There will also be innovation projects running alongside the competition, such as the Hydrogen project, that will be focusing on the development of hydrogen engines for support vessels.All this makes the America’s Cup a unique, fruitful and thrilling opportunity for Barcelona, an event that will help Barcelona consolidate its legacy as a city of sport.
Copa América de Vela, surcando los mares desde 1851
In modern times, sports competitions have become major events on the international calendar, especially if they are of world caliber: the Olympic Games, the World Cup, the Grand Slams, the Paris-Dakar Rally, etc. All of them are much more than simple sports competitions and are capable of creating high expectations, not only for their regular fans, but also for new audiences who want to enjoy the show.
The America's Sailing Cup is no exception, as it is not only the most important regatta in the world but the sports competition with the 3rd highest economic impact on the host country, after the Olympic Games and the World Cup.
The event has an impressive history. More than 170 years old, the America’s Cup is the oldest sporting event in the world. The competition was launched in London in honor of Queen Victoria. In response, a group of Americans from the New York Yacht Club decided to commission a new, faster, and more modern schooner to challenge the British. Their yacht was named 'America' and it would eventually defeat the British boat.
The regatta still follows the same elimination system of two boats racing against each other. Any yacht club that meets the requirements specified in the “Deed of Gift” has the right to challenge the defending club. And the winner decides where the next event will be held.
Although the event is still rooted in tradition, technology and innovation play a very important part. In fact, the new AC75s monohulls no longer sail through the sea, but fly over it on their 'foils' at speeds exceeding 50 knots. It is, without a shadow of doubt, an extraordinary spectacle.