The Copa America arrives. The great challenge

Cities like Cork (Ireland), Jeddanh (Saudi Arabia), Valencia and Malaga (Spain) were eliminated from the bid to host the Americas Cup, some due to lack of public support as in the case of Cork, others because of lack of capital, the case of Malaga, or Valencia, the latter already closed with a negative balance in the 2007 challenge. But this is not the case of Barcelona, here we are always positive.

There is no doubt that the “America’s Cup” is a great event, and that having chosen the Barceloneta and its port as venue fills with pride all the neighbours of this neighbourhood that value the international projection with the consequences that it entails, “positive” (for bars and restaurants), and negative (speculation, tourist overcrowding, more crime -if it happens-, cuts in access, privatization of public areas -port, beaches and avenues-, increase in prices etc.).

La Barceloneta has hosted 3 editions of the Barcelona World Race, and the only edition of The Race, which gave us an experience in this type of events, which highlights our willingness to collaborate with participating organizers.

As far as the infrastructure is concerned, it is possible that the port will take the opportunity to refurbish some areas using the regatta budget, but in our neighbourhood, it is very clear that – as in previous editions – once the event is over, all the material will be collected and no trace will be left behind, as if it had all been a figment of our imagination.

The word “millions” has sounded, and as the sharks come to the blood, Barcelona’s leading men, Nautical Clusters, speculators, associations of all kinds – political, social, and especially sports – emerge from the caves in which they hibernate trying to give a piece of the cake, without thinking, which is clear, trying to work for their own benefit and may cause that, same as in Valencia, the final balance will be negative, and in this case, we all know who will have to pay.

Thank you, Grant Dalton, for choosing our city, we know that you have the strength and courage to carry out an event of this level, as you have already demonstrated in previous editions. Thank you, Guillermo Altadill, for being the promoter of this fantastic project for your city in which you have given body and soul. Thank you, Ada Colau, for sacrificing your ideologies, we know that at first you were reluctant, however, know that you are not lacking reason. This type of competition -challenge- is “elitist”, the most elitist of all.

Welcome “America’s cup” no doubt, but in the neighbourhood of Barceloneta, the neighbours and residents should be taken into account when it comes to settling because Barcelona hosts the “Cup”, but our neighbourhood fills it with champagne and is not even invited to the Vernissage.

Vicens Forner,
Photographer and columnist