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Tarragona elected as host city of the 2017 Mediterranean Games

The city of Tarragona, located on the southern coast of Catalonia, will be the host city of the 2017 Mediterranean Games after ten years of candidature work. Together with Tarragona, another twelve Catalan towns will be hosts for different sport competitions with the common objective being to promote the area internationally. Many have in mind the excellent results of Barcelona Olympics of 1992.


17 October 2011 09:40 PM



Tarragona (ACN).-The Catalan city of Tarragona will host the 2017 Mediterranean Games after beating the other finalist, the Egyptian city of Alexandria, by only two votes (36 to 34). The victory of Tarragona\u2019s candidature is the first step in a major effort of the old Roman city that will last six years; an effort shared with the 12 secondary venues, where the different competitions will be held. It is expected that the Mediterranean Games will provide the area with incentives at economic, social and cultural levels. Saturday morning\u2019s announcement of the Catalan city's success was warmly welcomed by citizens and volunteers, who celebrated the news with enthusiasm and euphoria in Tarragona\u2019s city centre. The games will bring an additional investment of 130 million euros and will create 1,000 direct jobs and much more indirectly. 80% of Tarragona\u2019s facilities are already built and funding for the rest is already guaranteed.

Tarragona is a city located in the south of Catalonia, on the Mediterranean Sea coast, with around 150.000 inhabitants. In the Roman Times, the old Tarragona, which was named Tarraco, was one of the main cities of the Empire. Nowadays, Tarraco\u2019s Roman ruins are a popular attraction, which were declared World Heritage by UNESCO. However, Tarragona combines cultural highlights with entertainment ones, such as the many beaches and the theme park Port Aventura, which is only ten minutes from the city.

12 secondary venues

The candidature for the 2017 Games also includes 12 more towns nearby Tarragona, many of them on the Costa Daurada, such as Calafell, with fencing, football and table tennis; Cambrils, with judo, karate and archery; Constantí (weightlifting); El Vendrell (football and boxing); La Selva del Camp (handball), Salou (sailing, beach volleyball and triathlon); Torredembarra (volleyball and badminton); Valls (basketball) and Vila-seca (petanque and cycling). The city of Barcelona will host the riding competitions and Castelldefels, rowing and canoeing. Tarragona will hold athletics, basketball, football, gymnastics, golf, swimming, tennis and water polo, among others.

A dream already planned in 2007

Tarragona\u2019s quest for the Mediterranean Games started in March 2007 with full support from the Municipal Government and other important figures such as King Juan Carlos I of Spain. To date, 23 countries in Europe, Africa and Asia participate in the Mediterranean Games, a competition held every four years, and always a year after the Olympic Games. The Catalan city takes over from Mersin (Turkey), the host city for the 2013 Games, and will be the venue for 31 sport specialties, with the latest incorporation of the triathlon competition. Tarragona expects that the 2017 Mediterranean Games will take place between the 30th of June and the 9th of July.

The candidature\u2019s assets

The main attractions of the Catalan\u2019s candidature are the relocation of many competitions to secondary sites only a few kilometres from Tarragona, as well as the availability of communication infrastructure and the past experience of Barcelona\u2019s Olympic Games in 1992. The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, congratulated the city for its victory and stated that \u201CCatalonia has a great tradition in organising great events\u201D and that the city of Tarragona \u201Cwill rise to the occasion\u201D. Tarragona\u2019s Mayor, Josep Félix Ballesteros, stressed that it \u201Cis a reward for a job well done and the effort\u201D of \u201Ccitizens, companies and institutions\u201D that allowed the submission of a \u201Csolid and consistent project\u201D. In the next six years, Tarragona faces the task of developing 20% of the remaining infrastructural projects in time for the event\u2019s inauguration.


  • Tarragona's volunteers just after having heard the city's confirmation as the venue for the 2017 Mediterranean Games (by ACN)

  • Tarragona's volunteers just after having heard the city's confirmation as the venue for the 2017 Mediterranean Games (by ACN)