10 December 2003
VALENCIA – The Americas Cup could bring more than to 2.9 billion television viewers when it is staged in Valencia, the town’s mayor claimed Wednesday.
The Spanish city recently beat off competition to stage the most important event in the nautical world in 2007.
In an interview with the Antena 3 television channel, Rita Barberá, the mayor of Valencia, claimed the number of people watching the yachting race will exceed the popularity of the event when it was staged in Auckland, New Zealand. The race attracted 2.9 billion people who tuned in to watch from around the world.
She said Valencia’s geographical location would help ensure viewers around the world would not miss out.
A lot of events were retransmitted from Auckland, but live broadcasts from Valencia can be seen in Australia at 8pm local time and first thing in the morning in North America.
She added that that the America’s Cup organisers have promised to make it possible to watch many events from the natural vantage points of El Saler and Malvarrosa beaches.
According to Barbera, this colossal undertaking will mean great opportunities and commitments for Valencia and Spain, beginning with new urban development projects and infrastructure that will change the city’s skyline.
There are already plans to transform the old commercial port into the most beautiful marina in the Mediterranean.
The president of the Valencia’s city council, Francisco Camps, said he was convinced the America’s Cup will bring progress to Valencia, on the same scale as the socio-economic impact that staging the 1992 Olympic Games had on Barcelona.
He stressed that the central, regional and local governments must work hard to meet the tourism, sports and economic challenges involved in hosting the event, such as completing the 900 km high-speed rail line between Madrid and Valencia.
The first teams will begin to arrive in summer 2004 to start secretly working on perfecting their navigation technology.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news