Zaragoza, a cultural gem and vibrant Spanish city, is on the eve of a momentous week. From November 2-4, it will host the evaluation commission of ACES Europe, the entity in charge of awarding the prestigious title of “European Capital of Sport.” Competition is fierce, with Naples as its main rival for this coveted distinction in 2026. This title would represent a qualitative leap in Zaragoza City Council’s bid to project itself internationally and attract renowned national and international sporting events.
To prepare for the visit of the European delegation, the Councilor for the Presidency, Ángel Lorén, and the Councilor for Sports, Félix Brocate, today chaired a meeting of the Advisory Council of the candidacy. This council has the participation of fifteen entities, elite clubs, associations and prominent personalities of the local sports world. Among the participants are the Confederation of Aragonese Sports Federations (COFEDAR), the Aragonese Association of Sports Managers (GEDA), the Association of Sports Entities of Aragon (ASEDA), the Sports Press Association of Zaragoza, the Association of Managers and Executives of Aragon (ADEA), CEOE Zaragoza, Real Zaragoza, Basket Zaragoza 2002, CD Monkayak Hiberus, Zaragoza Municipal Sports, Zaragoza Tourism and renowned athletes involved in local life such as Fernando Arcega, María José Poves, Xavi Aguado and Sergio Muro.
On Thursday, November 2, the mayoress of Zaragoza will receive the evaluation commission at the City Hall. The following day, the central event of the candidacy will take place at the Príncipe Felipe Pavilion, with the participation of local sports entities and renowned athletes such as Teresa Perales and Fernando Arcega. In addition, ACES Europe representatives will have the opportunity to explore various sports facilities in the city, including the Siglo XXI Pavilion, the Aragonese Sports Center, the Aragonese Football Federation fields (adjacent to the future Smart City of Sport) and the La Granja Municipal Sports Center, where the Special Olympics Aragon integration project will be presented.
On Saturday, the evaluation committee will visit the Mobility City at the Pabellón Puente, where they will hold a press conference to share their impressions of the candidacy.
“Zaragoza inspires sport ” is the slogan with which the Aragonese capital aspires to become the European Capital of Sport. This initiative reflects the City Council’s commitment to place sport as a fundamental part of its city model. The main objective is to promote healthy lifestyle habits in a population increasingly committed to sustainability and the reduction of emissions. At the same time, it seeks to attract national and international sporting events that put Zaragoza on the map and generate positive economic, social and media impacts.
Zaragoza’s bid to be the European Capital of Sport in 2026 is based on a transversal strategy that considers sport as a tool for social cohesion. This vision is aligned with Zaragoza’s commitment to move towards a sustainable city model committed to the environment. In this sense, it seeks to promote physical activity as a way to promote physical and mental health, while working to consolidate Zaragoza as one of the world’s smart and climate-neutral cities.
The slogan “Zaragoza inspires sport” encapsulates a double message that highlights inspiration as an action linked to improving air quality, health and the environment. These concepts are incorporated into the bid poster, which features floral elements that resemble two lungs, symbolizing the city’s focus on sustainability and wellness.
In short, Zaragoza is preparing to show the world why it deserves to be the European Capital of Sport in 2026. With a strong bid backed by a focus on sustainability, health and sport, the city holds all the cards to succeed in its quest to become a beacon of sporting inspiration in the heart of Europe.