The Fira, like a racing car

The Fira de Barcelona will soon take over the Circuit de Catalunya.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
01 April 2024 Monday 10:29
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The Fira, like a racing car

The Fira de Barcelona will soon take over the Circuit de Catalunya. The intention is for the new management to be formalized before the regional elections on May 12. Without a doubt, it is the best thing that can happen to the circuit. The objective is to take advantage of the institution's know-how to diversify the business beyond Formula 1 and motorcycling. Thus, the Fira will use the Montmeló venue to hold fairs, conferences, leisure activities, concerts and other cultural events. The engine tests will continue in the hands of the circuit, although the Fira will act as co-manager by providing its structure.

Currently, the Fira is the leader in Spain in the organization of events, more than 270 a year. It invoices more than 250 million annually and its economic impact on the territory is about 4.7 billion. Its privileged position is marked by conferences such as the Mobile World Congress, the ISE and the Smart Cities, all of them leaders in their sectors. In addition, this year Sea Food, the first world seafood fair, will be held for the third time.

The Fira has established itself in recent years as one of the great economic engines of Catalonia. This explains why he is now entrusted with the management of the Circuit de Catalunya venue to try to overcome its problems of economic profitability. At the moment, the Fira manages its pavilions in Montjuïc, L'Hospitalet – it is now expanding to what was the Porcelanosa factory – and the Fòrum convention center. With the Circuit, it will consolidate an almost hegemonic position in the sector of fairs, congresses and other events, which gives it a pole position practically without competition in Catalonia.

There are already models from other circuits that are diversifying their business beyond the motor. The most relevant case is the German Nordschleife circuit. It is the largest circuit in the world, almost a century old, with a spectacular route through a forested landscape that has earned it the nickname green hell. A few years ago, the circuit was declared bankrupt and had to be rescued by the German Government. Today, in addition to motor tests, the speedway has an amusement park, a shopping center and organizes various events. The most important is Rock and Ring, the largest music festival in Germany. Nordschleife is the example of how to overcome a very bad economic situation with business diversification.

Also on the horizon is that from 2026 the Circuit will continue hosting the Formula 1 world championship. Madrid has also shown its interest in this competition, but has not yet formalized the request with the Spanish and international federations. In this case, Ifema, its fair and conference organizer, has also been involved. The future of the Circuit is, therefore, that with Fira it goes like a car.