At a packed event in the Volvo Ocean Race Museum, representatives from Generalitat Valenciana, including President Ximo Puig, and the city of Alicante, including Mayor Gabriel Echávarri, joined Race CEO Mark Turner to officially announce that the deal had been signed.
"It's really exciting to see you all here in Alicante, more than one year before the start of the next edition of the race, working just as a real team on a Volvo Ocean 65 would, to ensure that this amazing city thrives and enjoys the full potential of being the Start Host City of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18," said Turner.
"Today we start the journey to the finish line of the next three editions with the aim to reach even further and work even harder to continue to make this race an amazing adventure for Alicante and the Comunitat Valenciana."
Alicante has already been the start city in the last three editions of the Race, and when the fleet departs for Lisbon in Autumn 2017, that will make four.
Turner continued: "We believe that all of these initiatives along with the ones that are going to be presented today will make Alicante's participation in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 a huge success in economic, social and sports terms.
"Without a doubt, they will show Alicante as a major player in tourism, sport and sponsorship at global level."
Since the Race first departed Alicante in the 2008-09 edition, PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that the event's economic impact in Spain stands at €340 million - and has generated almost 5,000 jobs in the region.
The Volvo Ocean Race moved its Race HQ over to the city in 2010 and the Museum, the only one in the world dedicated to the Race, with more than 40 years of history, was constructed two years later.
In the last two years, the facility - which is free to enter - has welcomed over 100,000 visitors, of which around 40% were international. It has also seen over 12,000 local schoolkids through the doors in that time.
The next edition of the Race will see the fleet race over 45,000 nautical miles in one of the most epic race courses in the event's history - visiting 11 cities across 10 legs - and sailing more than three times the distance of Southern Ocean miles in comparison to recent races.