THE oldest trophy in international sport, the America’s Cup, will be fought for in the waters off Barcelona in autumn 2024.
The yachting team event was first contested in 1851, and will be defended by New Zealand.
They had the right to chose the venue after taking the trophy for the second time in a row in their native waters of Auckland in March 2021.
Barcelona also becomes the first city to have hosted the Olympic Games(1992) and the America’s Cup, and saw off challenges from within Spain and around the world.
CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand, Grant Dalton, said: “I must acknowledge the absolute commitment of the other final host city candidates, Cork in Ireland, Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Malaga in Spain.”
“In the end, a difficult decision had to be made to select only one.” he added.
New Zealand officials said that Barcelona’s existing world class facilities for racing, team bases, technical infrastructure, superyachts, and areas for the America’s Cup event village to host fans, hospitality, and media as well as an average wind range of 9-15 knots during the September and October race window, made the city completely fit for purpose.
Grant Dalton said: “Barcelona really is one of the most recognised cities in the world and so to have the ability to host the most recognised sailing event in the world is hugely exciting.”
“As defenders of the America’s Cup, we have always felt the responsibility to grow the event, the audience, and the sport of sailing on a global scale and certainly having the event hosted in a significant city such as Barcelona will allow us to propel the growth trajectory on the global sporting stage.”
Barcelona’s bid saw public and private groups working together to attract the event to the area, including the regional Catalan government and Barcelona City Council partnered with investors.
Barcelona mayor, Ada Colau, said: “It is great news for Barcelona! This should serve to promote the city to the world after the pandemic, to benefit Barcelona’s tradition of this sport in a city by the sea and in addition, to boost the emerging sector of innovation and technology, linked to nautical activities.”
The first-ever women’s America’s Cup event will also be held in Barcelona along with the Youth America’s Cup.
“We look forward to working in partnership with our host venue and announcing further details in due course,” Grant Dalton concluded.
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