Barcelona wins race to host America's Cup

Staff WritersReuters
Team New Zealand's Grant Dalton says Barcelona is the right host city for the 2024 America's Cup.
Camera IconTeam New Zealand's Grant Dalton says Barcelona is the right host city for the 2024 America's Cup. Credit: EPA

Barcelona has been was confirmed as the venue for the next America's Cup in 2024, with Team New Zealand selecting the Mediterranean city in a bid to secure its financial survival.

Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Team New Zealand, who retained the Auld Mug last year with victory over Italy's Luna Rossa in Auckland, said they had decided on Barcelona over fellow contenders Malaga and Jeddah in a closely-fought competition to host the prized sailing event.

The team had rejected a $99 million ($A132m) bid from the New Zealand government and Auckland Council to host the 37th edition of the America's Cup, which is the oldest trophy in international sport and was first won in 1851.

"Having the event hosted in a significant city such as Barcelona will allow us to propel the growth trajectory (of the America's Cup) on the global sporting stage," TNZ CEO Grant Dalton said in a statement.

"We physically couldn't raise the sort of money we needed to keep it in New Zealand."

Seeing the AC75 foiling yachts racing a few hundred metres off the beach would be "nothing less than spectacular" when the event takes place in September and October 2024, Dalton added.

The 37th America's Cup match will begin in early October 2024 after the challenger trials that will determine Team New Zealand's opponents for the oldest trophy in international sports.

The Barcelona regional government said in a statement that initial estimates suggested holding the America's Cup in the Mediterranean city would have an economic impact of about $900m ($A1.2 billion to $1b ($A1.3b) based on the previous event in Auckland.

This will be the third time the America's Cup has been sailed in Spain and the third time it's been contested in Europe. The 2007 and 2010 America's Cups were held in Valencia.

Barcelona is also set to be part of a bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics after Spain's Catalonia and Aragon regions this week reached agreement for a joint candidacy.

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