Since the 1992 Olympics, Barcelona has been linked to sport. Now he is going even further and creating the Barcelona Sports Hub, a new hub of innovation and sports technology, with its epicenter on the mountain of Montjuïc, to make the Catalan capital a benchmark in the sports technology sector.
Promoted by the City Council through the Barcelona Esports Institute, the Barcelona Sports Hub will include the renovation of the Palau Municipal d’Esports located on Calle Lleida – which will be the central headquarters of the hub – and the creation of a business incubator in the Sport Tech sector of the Estadi Olímpic, managed by Barcelona Municipal Services (B:SM).
The new “hub” will promote sport in the city, which is one of the objectives of the 2030 Agenda
The new hub will promote the exchange of knowledge, talents, resources and innovation capabilities in the world of technology and sport to improve the competitiveness of the various players that are part of it. It will also promote the practice of sport -one of the objectives of the 2030 Agenda-, and will make Barcelona an international reference in terms of technological innovation applied to sport. It should be integrated by companies, large companies, institutions and start-ups that transform and improve the management and practice of sport, including initiatives related to e-Sports (digital games).
One of the first objectives of Barcelona Sports Hub is to renovate the Palau Municipal d’Esports, conceived as a symbol of the new economic paradigm of sport. The municipal project plans to rehabilitate the building on Calle Lleida, currently closed, to recover its use and organize sporting and municipal events. The versatility of the equipment, with a capacity of between 3,000 and 4,000 spectators, will allow it to accommodate different sports, such as basketball, handball, volleyball, etc. and embrace esports, an emerging economic sector.
The renovated Palau Municipal d’Esports will combine the practice of conventional sports with new trends
In addition, the renovated Palau d’Esports will be the headquarters of the Barcelona Sports Hub and will have a sports innovation center. An operational headquarters close to the Parc Olímpic de Montjuïc and closely linked to its sports and educational facilities, and in particular to the new business incubator in the Sport Tech sector that is beginning to take shape at the Estadi Olímpic.
The renovation of the Palau d’Esports involves the creation of high-level sports equipment, which will combine the practice of conventional sports with new trends.
A startup incubator at the Olympic Stadium
The first facility that will be part of the Barcelona Sports Hub is the technology incubator that Barcelona de Serveis Municipals is promoting at the Anella Olímpica. Last February, the tendering process began which will adapt the spaces of the Olympic Stadium to house the city’s first incubator for emerging sports companies and which will allow the area to be configured as an innovation hub. in the world of sports. and technology.
The incubator will be located in a former office area located on the south facade of the Estadi Olímpic. With a budget of 2.8 million euros, the space will have a constructed area of 1,100 m2 and will house, among other facilities, a large pre-incubation area and up to twelve work modules that can be connected to each other. to others. In addition, it will have meeting rooms and other common areas for the companies and entrepreneurs that are part of it.
The renovation of the Palau d’Esports involves the creation of high-level sports equipment, which will combine the practice of conventional sport with new trends
The reform project also envisages the development of a living space of 400 m2 outside. Located just opposite the offices, it will create synergies between the different companies, allowing the organization of meetings and co-creation activities in the open air. Work is expected to begin in the second half of the year and be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2023.
The incubator wants to promote and support the creation of innovative companies, promote their growth and facilitate their positioning in the entrepreneurial fabric of the metropolis. Among other services, it will offer support and acceleration programs for businesses. You can also act as a promoter of activities in the surrounding sports facilities.
To this end, it will have state-of-the-art technological equipment that will enable it to become a test laboratory for new technologies and innovation applied to sports events and to sport in general. It will host start-ups and companies in the sports sector that will innovate for the technological improvement of sports, boosting the Sport Tech sector.
The Palau d’Esports will be an opportunity for Barcelona not only to become a reference in the organization of events and in the practice of sport, but also for it to be a leader in the Sport Tech universe.
A new Municipal Sports Palace
The capacity will be between 3,000 and 4,000 spectators. It will offer 450 workstations. It will have 3 sports innovation laboratories. It is estimated that there will be some 800,000 annual uses linked to the Barcelona Sports Hub and some 200,000 annual spectators of different sporting and civic events.