An in-depth study of the links between sport, space and urban social structure is necessary to understand the dynamics of industrial societies. The development of sport in modern urban spaces reflects patterns of city expansion. Consequently, sport can be used to explain the formation of the modern city. This article intends to analyse the construction of the modern city of Barcelona in terms of sport activity and its relation to urban space from the beginning of modern sport to the expansion of the 1920s. This project has three objectives: (a) to analyse the formal characteristics of the first sport facilities in the city; (b) to study the location of these facilities in the urban space and their development between 1870 and 1923; and (c) to analyse the social, political and urban impact of this process on the establishment of a sport provision in Barcelona. The research reveals that, between 1870 and 1923, sport played an important role in the transformation of urban spaces, in the mobility of the social classes within the city and in the emergence of a new public awareness that, for first time, took into account the sporting needs of citizens.