Improvement of the city sport system
Decentralised model, locating facilities in the more convenient areas, with the right capacity of the post-Olympic use:
- 4 Olympic areas
- 15 new permanent venues constructed
- 28 upgraded existing venues
Improvement in schools facilities and equipment
Another element of the sport legacy of the Barcelona’92 Olympic Games is the improvement of the sport facilities and equipment in public schools in the city of Barcelona. This scheme contributed to improve the conditions for promoting sporting activities aimed at youth, and therefore, an increase in their participation.
Research undertaken on the post-use of Olympic facilities (Cid et al 1997) shows that most of the managers believed that the Games contributed to improve the quality of their facilities and therefore allow them to increase the provision of sport activities. There was also a general agreement on the contribution of the Games to create awareness on the importance of practising sport.
Increase sport participation
One of the main reasons for the increase of the sport practise by citizens since the Barcelona’92 Olympic Games has been the perception and assimilation by most of the society (amongst all age levels) that physical and sport activity is an asset for a quality of life associated with health, even amongst those non-practitioners citizens.
The Olympic project coincided with a change in Europe of sport practices or fitness that contributed to widening the practice of sport amongst different targets, which, together with an improvement in the city sport system as a result of the Olympic decentralised model that located the sport facilities in the most convenient areas, with the right capacity for its post-Olympic use, and the adaption of public spaces for sport practice, resulted in an increase of participation and citizen awareness of the relationship between health and sport.
Sport event strategy
Barcelona sporting tradition, together with the success of staging the Barcelona’92 Olympic Games, have allowed Barcelona to position itself as the host of major sporting events. Since 2002, the Barcelona Sports programme run by Barcelona Turisme, aims to promote the city’s main sporting events and to establish Barcelona’s position as a world-class city of sport. It features the main events on the year’s sporting calendar, as well as the European and world championships hosted by the city. Turisme de Barcelona disseminates the city’s main sporting events in all the promotional events it carries out throughout the year, and also promotes them individually through specific channels.
The current Barcelona Sport Strategic Plan 2012-2022 identifies the hosting and organising sport events as part of the city international positioning strategy, a contribution to construct Barcelona as a “city with a position linked to sport, host of sport events and best professionals and companies linked to sport” (Ajuntament de Barcelona 2012). And to do so, the Barcelona City Council invests significant amounts of public budget in hosting and organising sporting events, guarantees high quality sport facilities and city services to host these events, and also promote city own sport events with high international projection such as the Barcelona World Race, the Barcelona Zurich Marathon or Formula One.
(In-house documentation sources, CEO-UAB, 2014)