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“The Copa América de Barcelona will be one of the biggest free shows in the world”

Barcelona“It will be one of the biggest free sporting spectacles in the world,” explains Grant Dalton, the head of Team New Zealand, the organizers of the 37th edition of the America’s Sailing Cup, which will arrive in Barcelona in 2024. After the first few months of work, the competition is taking shape and has been officially presented at the Maritime Museum, as expected. Dalton, an old sea wolf who won the competition and has the brown skin of someone who has spent days on the high seas, has learned to navigate between investors and politicians to make this tournament one of the most money-making. And today it was his turn to explain the project right below the life-size replica of the royal galley of John of Austria, flagship in the Battle of Lepanto, just like the one that was also built in these shipyards in 1571. As if Barcelona now wants to remind the world’s best sailors that there is a sea tradition here even before New Zealand appeared on European maps.

The event was used to present the image of the competition, made by the Practica design studio in Barcelona, ​​with a letter B and the image of the famous cup of 100 guineas, the trophy that the winner receives, built in the 40s in London in silver.

Dalton has done his homework. Aware that the passage of the America’s Cup in Valencia left more shadows than light, he has emphasized a competition that will last months and attract thousands of tourists, leaving benefits and opening up to the whole city. “Now we know for sure that we can sail 200 meters from the coast – he explained -. The direction of the wind allows us to sail close to the beach, something that had never happened before. This makes the America’s Cup a free show, from which everyone will be able to enjoy. It’s magnificent. We’ve studied it in detail and the regatta area (located between the Olympic Port and Hotel Vela) will allow thousands of people to follow them.” In the past, in cities like Auckland or San Francisco, the racecourses were offshore, too far for the human eye. In Barcelona, ​​no. “Thanks to the Port of Barcelona and Mediapro, the Imax cinemas will be transformed into an interactive center to understand the competition: what happens behind the scenes. A visual center to open up and explain the competition to the people of Barcelona.” In addition, the entire Paseo Marítim area will be a great one village, a “large free interactive area open to everyone”. The bases of the women’s and youth America’s Cup will be located at Port Olímpic, one of the novelties of these years. In addition, there will be the possibility to see boats from the America’s Cup of the past, from before the Second World War.

Right after the Paris Olympics

“The America’s Cup brings thousands of tourists. The tourist of the Cup doesn’t come for two days, he comes for two weeks or two months,” said Dalton, who admitted that the teams that have already sent people to start working on its bases seem delighted to work in Barcelona. “We have adapted the calendar for 2024 to not coincide with the Olympic Games in Paris. The start will be on August 25, with the meeting of all the ships that will participate throughout September in the Challenge Series, where they compete every team that wants to face New Zealand in the final.” According to the format of the America’s Cup, different teams compete against each other and whoever wins ends up being the one to face the reigning champions, Team New Zealand, in the final, who have the right to choose where the final takes place. In this case, Dalton has caused a strong debate in his country by deciding to bring the final to Barcelona, ​​instead of doing it in his country. “Everything is good in Barcelona, ​​the same has not happened in New Zealand,” he joked. The grand final will be launched on October 12, 2024.

The event was attended by, among other personalities from civil, political, sporting, cultural and economic society in the City, the representative of the government in Catalonia, Maria Eugènia Gay; the Minister of Business and Labor of the Generalitat, Roger Torrent; the mayor of Barcelona, ​​Ada Colau; the first deputy mayor of the Barcelona City Council and vice-president of the Barcelona Provincial Council, Jaume Collboni; and the president of the Port of Barcelona, ​​Damià Calvet. “I am proud to say that the Copa América has chosen Barcelona, ​​and Barcelona has chosen the Copa América. With this comes the best projects, with the complicity of the administrations, and also following the sustainable and welcoming city model that the makes it an international benchmark worldwide. The world will once again see a city that welcomes sport and is open to all projects,” highlighted Ada Colau.

For his part, Torrent has affirmed that the Copa América is “a legendary competition and a window of opportunities that go beyond the sports competition”, because it projects Catalonia to the world and can be “a catalyst for a sustainable constructive model . With an audience of one billion people, it helps us diversify tourism and achieve responsible tourism that also brings hundreds of jobs for the city, the country and the industry linked to the sea. In addition, it also means the creation of the America’s Cup House in the current IMAX building”, he concluded.

A long tradition

For the fourth time in the more than 170-year history of the Copa América, the team defending the title will organize it away from their country. Twice due to force majeure, when a landlocked Swiss team won, which took them to Valencia. Team New Zealand has chosen Barcelona as it perceives the financial support of the institutions, both the Generalitat and the Barcelona City Council. Added to this is the contribution of a group of private investors, all of whom are headed by Barcelona & Partners, the investment agency of Barcelona Global that has promoted and designed the candidacy. First celebrated in 1851 on the Isle of Wight, England, when the American ship America prevailed against the British royal family on an English ship, the Cup will arrive in Barcelona for the first time in 2024 with a first phase, the Prada Cup, where Alinghi from Switzerland, Ineos from Great Britain, Luna Italy’s Rossa and the United States’ American Magic will be looking to qualify for the final against Team New Zealand. Most of the teams are planning to settle permanently in Barcelona from June 2023.

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