Spain’s claims for America’s Cup increase as Barcelona embraces bold bid –

The future of the next America's Cup hangs in the balance.

COR 36 | Borlenghi studio

The future of the next America’s Cup hangs in the balance.

Spanish hopes of hosting the next America’s Cup continue to grow with Barcelona’s bold bid formalizing.

A day after Malaga confirmed its $ 121m bid, the sporting powerhouse of Barcelona and the ambitious Catalan region appear to have the political unity required to push their cause to stage yachting’s pinnacle event in 2024.

The hosting decision is set to be announced by Team New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron on March 31.

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“The government has taken a further step in this direction and today has announced that it authorises the Department of Business and Employment to undertake the necessary actions to promote the candidacy of the Catalan capital in order to win this event,” Spanish media reported on Wednesday (NZT).

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“The government is enormously interested in this issue, since it considers, above all, that it implies an international projection for both the city and Catalonia and a boost to the recovery of the tourism sector.”

This follows the visit to Barcelona last week by Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton to view the facilities and discuss financials.

Government spokesperson Patricia Plaja told a media conference after their executive meeting, there were projections of the event being worth 1,000 million euros to the region.

“It only brings good things and fits the profile of the country. It is a very good opportunity, which should be used as a catalyst,” she said as they look to emerge from the strains of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton is touring the prospective America's Cup venues with a hosting decision imminent.

Phil Walter / Getty Images

Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton is touring the prospective America’s Cup venues with a hosting decision imminent.

The America’s Cup’s increasing commitment to sustainability was also seen as a big plus by Barcelona.

The report said the Barcelona City Council, the government and the Barcelona Provincial Council, were aligned in favor of hosting the America’s Cup.

“The city has the infrastructure, the climate and the experience to be the best venue,” Barcelona mayor Ada Colau said.

The Spanish bids are up against Cork in Ireland and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia as Team New Zealand look to take the regatta offshore after failing to get the financial security to stage another defense in Auckland following their success there last year.

Barcelona has a reputation as a major sporting venue, hosting the most games at the 1982 Fifa World Cup and being home to the famous Barcelona FC.

It has hosted Formula One’s Spanish grand prix since 1991 and staged the 1992 Olympics with the harbor region hosting the sailing events.

Barcelona claim to have the infrastructure in place to accommodate the America’s Cup teams with upgrades of the harbor zone already signed off as part of long-term planning.

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