— Published 26 January 2022

A referendum for the Spanish bid


The Barcelona and Pyrenees bid for the 2030 Winter Games continues to move forward. It is doing so at its own pace, without trying to rush through the stages. It will, not surprisingly, go through the always very uncertain process of a popular consultation. Laura Vilagrá, the Minister of the Presidency of Catalonia, explained to the media that a referendum would be organised before the summer of 2022 on the question of the candidacy. It will concern the inhabitants of the 77 Spanish municipalities involved in the Olympic and Paralympic project, i.e. around 63,000 people aged 16 and over. According to Laura Vilagrá, the project will not be able to go ahead if it does not have strong support from the population concerned. The latest indicators are rather optimistic, with a recent poll conducted by the regional government showing almost 75% of Catalans in favour of the 2030 Games bid. In the next few weeks, the project’s supporters will travel to the Beijing Games, and then the Spanish Olympic Committee will unveil a technical file presenting the venues and sports facilities, probably before the spring. A crucial question remains: will Barcelona and the Pyrenees extend their project to other Spanish cities or regions? An association with Zaragoza, the capital of Aragon, has often been mentioned. But recent statements by Laura Vilagrá leave little room for a possible association. According to the minister, the major advantage of a bid remains the potential of the Pyrenees and the strength of the Barcelona brand on an international level.