Barcelona have released details of what the revamped Nou Camp stadium may look like. The capacity is set to increase to 105,000 spectators if approved at a board meeting in early April. Earlier options had included a move out of the iconic ground to a greenfield site.
The club board have been presented with proposals for a remodelled stadium for the Catalan giants with costs believed to be in the region of €600 million, with construction work to begin in May 2017 and reach completion in February 2021.
According to fcbarcelona.com, the new Camp Nou will include three main areas: the Camp Nou itself, a new Palau Blaugrana for 10,000 spectators and the Espai Barça (Barça Space), which would involve buildings for different purposes integrated into the district.
The current capacity of just under 100,00 would increase to 105,000, with every seat under cover. A new, steeper first tier of terracing will “vastly improve the sightlines, which are not great in some parts of the current stadium, while the second tier would largely remain the same, with the third tier being expanded.”
The changes would mean about 10% of season ticket holders would have to be moved, but to places with a better view of the pitch.
The Camp Nou stadium first opened on September 24, 1957, the day of La Mercè, Barcelona’s patron saint. Handel’s Messiah was performed at the opening and Barcelona defeated Warsaw 4-2 in a friendly. Barca’s previous stadium Camp de Les Corts was deemed too small for further expansion following a number of developments to cater for the club’s increasing fanbase.
The stadium originally had a capacity of 93,053 increasing to 121,749 for the 1982 World Cup. In 1999, UEFA outlawed standing sections in stadiums, and Camp Nou’s capacity settled at its current level of 98, 772, making it the largest stadium in Europe and 13th biggest in the world.
Construction is set to take place over three and half seasons with Barcelona continuing to play in the stadium. A members’ referendum to approve the design is set to take place in early April.