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Volume 6 No. 215

Events and Attractions

Barcelona Mayor Xavier Trias assured that the Int'l Swimming Federation's (FINA) World Championships, which will take place from Friday-Aug. 4 in Barcelona, will bring the city €125M ($163.5M), according to MUNDO DEPORTIVO. Trias said, "The city will receive a return of more than €5 ($6.5) for each euro invested." Trias made the statement at a press conference where he was joined by FINA President Julio César Maglione, Spanish Swimming Federation (RFEN) President Fernando Carpena and FINA Exec Dir Cornel Marculesco, but "none of them wanted to confirm that figure." The initial budget will surpass €25M ($33M), but "that will probably increase." Each of the organizations "has agreed to confirm the official numbers after the competition concludes." Trias, "in any case, has given other figures," saying there will be 50,000 tourists visiting Barcelona during the competition, "17 days in which Barcelona will reach an audience of 520 million spectators." Trias: "We have prepared these World Championships with a lot of excitement for a long time, with the goal of making it the best in history." Trias added that Barcelona hosting the event in '03 has allowed the city to save time and money on facility preparations. With 2,300 credentialed journalists and 2,500 volunteers signed up, Maglione said that the 15th FINA World Championships will "set a record for participation, with 181 countries represented by 2,283 athletes." Maglione: "The broadcast of the event will reach 210 countries, where Barcelona will be the center of the sporting world during this time. We expect the event's total TV audience to at least equal 3.5 billion, the number that watched the FINA World Championships in Rome ('09) and Shanghai ('11)" (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 7/18). In Barcelona, Joan Carles Armengol reported Trias said, "The '92 Barcelona Games changed the life of this city. Now, Barcelona will return to shine as a world capital in sports and show that it is the city of culture, knowledge, creativity, innovation and well-being that it wants to be" (EL PERIODICO, 7/18).

Madrid's Puerta de Alcalá monument "could be the scene where the people of Madrid follow from the street the IOC's decision regarding the host city for the 2020 Games." The IOC's decision, which will be made in Buenos Aires, will be announced on Sept. 7 and broadcast on a giant screen in Madrid. If Madrid wins the right to host the 2020 Olympics, "the people of Madrid will be able to enjoy musical performances by bands that have not yet been revealed" (EP, 7/18). ... The annual Race of Champions event, won by Germany's F1 champions Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher for the past six years, "is returning to Bangkok in December." Organizers said that Thailand "had successfully bid to hold the event again at the Rajamangala stadium" on Dec. 14-15 -- three weeks after the end of the F1 season (REUTERS, 7/19). ... More than 800 doping tests "will be conducted during the swimming world championships" slated for Friday-Aug. 4 in Barcelona (XINHUA, 7/18).