Barcelona to leave Camp Nou as part of renovations starting in June
(Reuters Photo)BARCELONA: Barcelona will begin renovating their Camp Nou stadium in June after the city council granted a permit for the work, which will last three years and result in the club moving to another venue for the 2023-24 season.
The Catalan club will play next season’s games at an almost full-capacity Camp Nou but will relocate to the Olympic Stadium in Montjuic for the following campaign, club president ?
Joan Laporta announced at a joint news conference with mayor ??Ada Colau on Thursday. Barca will move back to the Camp Nou in 2024/25 with construction work ongoing and a 50% capacity and Laporta expects the renovations to be completed during the 2025/26 season.
“Demolition any earlier would have meant having to play the 2022/23 season with just 50% of capacity,” Laporta said. “Out of prudence and to minimise risks and protect next season’s income, we will maintain a capacity of practically 100% and proceed to demolish the third tier when we go to Montjuic.”
Barcelona and the City Council are currently working on the move and plan to announce the details in a few weeks. They will need to agree on the rental cost for the stadium, which hosted the 1992 Olympics, as well as the refurbishment required for a venue that has not been used regularly for top-level sports for a long time.
The club also announced that the bidding process for the construction work on the Olympic Stadium has been accelerated, with the tender opening in July and to be awarded no later than October. Barca approved the financial plans in a referendum last December, including raising an additional 1.5 billion euros ($1.58 billion) to enable the club to renovate their Camp Nou stadium and its surroundings.
Laporta said last August that the club’s debts totalled 1.35 billion euros, 673 million of which is owed to banks. Goldman Sachs, which had agreed to lend 595 million euros to help restructure the club’s debt in August, will finance the stadium revamp under a 35-year plan, including an initial five-year grace period.
In March, Barcelona signed a shirt and stadium sponsorship deal with audio streaming platform Spotify (SPOT.N). The brand will appear on the front of the men’s and women’s team shirts for four seasons from the 2022/23 campaign. The company will also be the first brand to sponsor the club’s stadium, that will now be called Spotify Camp Nou. Neither Barcelona nor Spotify confirmed the financial details of the deal, but according to Catalan radio station Rac1, the agreement is worth 280 million euros ($306 million).