Over €120M invested to transform Barcelona's port ahead of 2024 America's Cup

Competition to take place from August next year, with teams finishing bases before first preliminary regatta

Emirates Team New Zealand preparing in Barcelona one of the competition boats ahead of the first preliminary regatta of the 2024 America's Cup on July 25, 2023
Emirates Team New Zealand preparing in Barcelona one of the competition boats ahead of the first preliminary regatta of the 2024 America's Cup on July 25, 2023 / Gerard Escaich Folch
Gerard Escaich Folch

Gerard Escaich Folch | @gescaichfolch | Barcelona

July 25, 2023 02:00 PM

September 14, 2023 04:13 PM

Barcelona port is expecting a huge transformation ahead of the 2024 America's Cup competition. Overall, an investment of €120 million will revamp several areas, with some new buildings to be constructed and other areas to host fans enjoying the event. 

The city's port authority negotiated up to 21 concession contracts, as some of these were affected by the bases of the six sailing teams that will be competing from August next year in the world's oldest international sports competition still in operation.

Five sailing teams will fight each other to take on the defender of the trophy, the Emirates Team New Zealand. Because of the contest, the port will undergo a huge change, with many well-known buildings being refurbished, like the old IMAX cinema building, or even dismantled altogether, such as the Cinesa cinema.

Other investments will see Barcelona's aquarium remodeled, new installations at Club Natació Barcelona, the oldest swimming club in Catalonia and home to the first water polo match in Spain, or even new sightseeing points and walking areas.


La Rambla de la Nova Bocana quay will see a new walking area and a new viewpoint building with a terrace to enjoy observing the port, where all America's Cup boats will sail through. The €5 million project will be complete by the end of this year.

The ferry port has also been moved to open a walking area for people, just at the end of the La Rambla boulevard beside the Christopher Colombus statue. A new hydrogen gas station will be installed as all non-sailing boats involved in the competition will run on green hydrogen.

All of these new constructions will be ready "before the start of the America's Cup in Barcelona," Lluís Salvadó, Barcelona's port president, told media outlets during a press visit to the area on Tuesday.

One of the most challenging parts has been negotiating with the owners of the concession agreements, who Salvadó thanked. He also highlighted the "second transformation" the port will go through, likening it to what happened ahead of the 1992 Olympic Games.

America's Cup House

Local authorities are describing the America's Cup House as a project to bring the competition closer to citizens. A new interactive and immersive installation will be located at the old IMAX building, next to the city aquarium on the city's old docks.

The €4.6 million project will see plenty of activities with many entertaining and educational proposals and expects to welcome around 1.5 million visitors.

The museum will be open from September and follows a similar style to Barça's recently opened temporary museum beside Camp Nou stadium.

Up to 135 regattas

Starting on August 22, 2024, with an opening event just nine days after the Paris Olympic Games closes, the America's Cup will see seven weeks of competitions, and up to 135 regattas, meaning between 40 and 50 days of sailing overall, all visible from the beach.

The main competition will take place from August to October 2024, starting with a preliminary regatta.

However, teams will have already faced each other at two other preliminary regattas, the first one in the southern city of Vilanova i la Geltrú from September 14 to 17, 2023, and a second one in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from November 30 to December 3, also this year.

After the regatta, the challenger series will start, taking place throughout September and the first week of October. This will be followed by the Youth & Women's racing and, from October 12, the America's Cup match, which will see the winner of the challenger series compete against the holders of the cup, Emirates Team New Zealand.

The challengers are Alinghi Red Bull Racing (Switzerland), NYYC American Magic (USA), Ineos Britannia (UK), Orient Express Racing Team (France), and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team (Italy).

The six bases are distributed across all of Barcelona's ports, and many of them are already visible to passersby.