European Athletics decided to entrust the organisation of the 20th European Athletics Championships to Barcelona. The decision was taken in 2006 and the city is eagerly preparing itself to be a worthy host. This event has never taken place in Spain before. The last championships were organised in the Swedish city of Göteborg.
Having being in existence for 75 years, the European Athletics Championships has become an essential event in the European athletics calendar. It is a benchmark event and, through the years, has come to determine the athletics ranking of participating countries. Following Barcelona, the event's format will undergo a few changes. Instead of taking place once in four years, it will be organised every two years and will indicate the halfway-point between successive Olympic Games.
The Barcelona 2010 Organising Committee has been working hard since the end of the previous event in Göteborg, where it carried out an in-depth observation programme. The organising team has been fully recruited in the last few months, and the work in the headquarters, located in the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium, is constant. The committee maintains an excellent working relationship with European Athletics, who regularly travel to Barcelona for meetings with B10 representatives from different working areas.
The organisation enjoys the support of all Spanish public administrations. The City Council and the Spanish Royal Federation have participated in the European Athletics Championships start-up programme, but other public institutions such as the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Diputació de Barcelona, and the High Sports Council also participate in the different committees and finance the event.
Before the B10 ticket sales operation kicks off, which will take place on 25 July, a year before the event starts, the organisation has made Barcelona's athletics fans aware that the European Athletics Championships will be one of the most prominent events in the 2010 season. The various marketing, promotional and media initiatives have produced good results, and the current level of awareness of the event is very high amongst the people from Barcelona.
The next few months will be decisive. After the test events this summer - the Meeting Ciutat de Barcelona and the Spanish Championships - athletics in Europe will assess Barcelona 2010's progress in a press conference due to take place during the World Athletics Championships in Berlin (15-23 August). Whilst the official countdown to the event doesn't begin until September, work at the stadium has already started and deadlines are being rigorously enforced.
To find out more about the Barcelona 2010 organisation and progress, visit www.bcn2010.org