Skip to main content

Barcelona to host world's first sports theme park

By Barry Neild, CNN
updated 3:58 AM EDT, Mon August 4, 2014
Details of a new sports-based theme park in Barcelona are sketchy, but promotional images show visitors taking part in virtual swimming races. Details of a new sports-based theme park in Barcelona are sketchy, but promotional images show visitors taking part in virtual swimming races.
HIDE CAPTION
Virtual Olympics in Barcelona
'Sportainment'
Alive and kicking
Ski jump
Faster, higher, stronger
Gold, silver, bronze
Money maker
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sports theme park planned for Barcelona's Olympic venues
  • Visitors will take part in virtual races using "best technology on the planet"
  • Tickets to be priced according to the sports visitors want to take part in

(CNN) -- Fitness isn't usually a requirement for theme parks -- standing in lines, climbing into rides and screaming in abject terror require only basic levels of stamina.

Not so at the world's first-ever sports amusement park planned for the Olympic Stadium and other Olympic venues in Barcelona, which promises to give visitors the chance to experience what it's like to race against Usain Bolt.

Open Camp will offer more than 50 "virtual experiences with links to every sport" when it opens in 2015, according to officials in the Spanish city.

Details of how they'll be able to strut their stuff against the world's fastest and strongest are so far thin on the ground, but a promotional video offers some clues.

One image shows people strapped to horizontal machines that supposedly mimic swimming as a screen in front of them shows an Olympic-sized pool.

Another shows a visitor in ski gear hoisted aloft in a wind tunnel apparently designed to recreate the experience of ski jumping.

It's not just about taking part though -- it's also about winning.

The park will also stage daily awards ceremonies to dole out bronze, silver and gold.

MORE: World's top 25 amusement parks

'Sportainment' experience

A statement said "the best technology on the planet" would be used in creating the "sportainment" experience.

"Visitors will be able to feel what it is like to be professional football players, run a smooth 100 meters against Usain Bolt, take part in any Olympic Games race recreated exactly as it was in reality and experience a medals ceremony," it said.

It said the park is intended to breathe new life into the "neglected" venues that hosted Barcelona's Olympics in 1992. Since then the venues have continued to host sports events as well as music concerts.

"The park will bring more life to the stadium than it has today and encourage more of the public to use it, while allowing it to continue holding big events," says Maite Fandos, one of the city's deputy mayors.

More than €20 million ($26 million) of private funding has been stumped up for the project, which is expected to create at least 240 jobs and bring in up to €53 million in annual revenues.

Tickets ranging from €20-30 are likely to be priced according to the sports that visitors want to take part in, the statement says.

While it sounds exhausting, Open Camp promoter Francesc Medina reportedly insists it'll be an experience for everyone, "even people with a beer gut."

MORE: Insider guide: What to do in Barcelona

Would you visit a sports theme park? Let us know in the comments.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:26 PM EST, Sun November 16, 2014
Take a trip to the Chinese town that has more relics than people.
updated 12:42 PM EST, Thu November 13, 2014
You know about reggae and Usain Bolt -- but you probably aren't aware of these other Jamaican superlatives.
updated 6:52 AM EST, Fri November 14, 2014
Artist creates brilliant tribute to Dutch impressionist painter -- a cycle route that glows in the dark
updated 1:33 AM EST, Fri November 14, 2014
European airlines beware: These 320kph trains are upping the travel game with roomy seats and onboard wi-fi.
updated 5:53 AM EST, Thu November 13, 2014
For such a relatively small collection of islands, the UK packs in an phenomenal range of beautiful scenery.
updated 5:37 PM EST, Wed November 12, 2014
Animals run behind the Rovos Rail train's observation balcony in Africa.
Rovos Rail's epic trips out of South Africa pamper passengers with fine dining, vintage comfort and even a bathtub.
updated 8:37 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
Nasir al-mulk Mosque, Shiraz, Iran
Self-taught Iranian photographer gains rare access to shoot religious buildings as they've never been seen.
updated 10:45 PM EST, Mon November 10, 2014
The subject of erotica has a way of making people uncomfortable.
updated 7:37 PM EST, Thu November 6, 2014
A
UK's Heathrow Airport pairs destinations with fragrances to evoke long distance travel. We do too.
updated 4:00 PM EST, Thu November 6, 2014
Bumper cars, a freefall simulator and robot bartenders are just a few of the cool features on Royal Caribbean's new Quantum of the Seas.
updated 5:58 PM EST, Sun November 2, 2014
Up in the mountains and across deep chasms, these bridges are both spectacular and terrifying.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT