There had been speculation that Barcelona would build a new stadium near to the University of Barcelona, but board members voted overwhelmingly to revamp the current stadium instead. The capacity will increase form just under 100,000 to 105,000 and a roof will be built to cover the spectators. The roof will not be retractable, however, and will not cover the pitch.
Barcelona is a Mecca for football lovers the world over. Tourists come to Barcelona specifically to see a match at Camp Nou, and there are organised stadium tours in a dozen different languages. So why the change? The stadium is a great place for fans to watch a fantastic match of football, but there are limited corporate facilities. For a club that has prided itself on being about football rather than money, it seems that they are finally joining the chase for the corporate Euro.
There will be new restaurants, new VIP seats and 3.500 new executive boxes. Barca President Sandro Rossel called it: “the most important decision for the club in the last 50 years.” The decision will have to be ratified by Barcelona members in April, but that should be a formality.
As the stadium’s name (‘New Field’) implies, Barca have not always played there – in fact the official opening of the stadium took place on 1957. Their first home was the Camp de la Industria with a capacity of 7,000. How times have changed.