Barça to play in Montjuic in 2023/2024 season as Camp Nou renovation kicks off
The third tier of Camp Nou will be demolished in summer 2023 to guarantee spectators access throughout all of next season
BarcelonaCamp Nou's renovation has finally been set in motion. Barcelona City Council has granted a license to start work on the Espai Barça just after the end of this season, focusing on the first and second tiers, the technological area, the stadium's surroundings and the urbanization of the exterior. "The neighbors will gain space, bike lanes and access, it's a great agreement" explained Mayor Ada Colau in the Saló de Cent. "We will have the best stadium in the world, in the best city in the world and the best country in the world" said Barça president Joan Laporta. "Being conservative, we expect an additional income of €200m thanks to the new stadium" the president added looking to the future. The works would be finished during the 2025/26 season.
Barça's idea is to delay the demolition of the third tier until the summer of 2023 in order to be able to play with spectators throughout the 2022/23 season, moving to the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys for the 2023/24 season, with a possibility of extending the stay in Montjuic for a few months if the works are extended. "It's a great agreement, this June we can already start working. It is an agreement that will give great value to the city. It has been complicated in the past to create consensus, but it has finally been achieved" explained Ada Colau.
"The new Espai Barça will be the most spectacular venue of its kind in aside city. It will be a success." said Laporta, who thanked Colau for her support. "I listened to what you were saying and it sounded like music in my ears," the president explained about a permit that means building work can be started in the central area of the stadium after years of complications, due to lack of agreement, debts inherited from the previous board or the war in Ukraine, which has increased the cost of some materials. "Today the license for the structural reform, the bulk of the Espai Barça, has been approved. We are already working on the works and also on the move to the Olympic Stadium in the summer of 2023" added Colau, who was accompanied by Janet Sanz, deputy mayor for Ecology, Urban Planning, Infrastructure and Mobility, and Jaume Collboni, deputy mayor for Economy, Labour, Competitiveness and Finance, and Elena Fort, institutional vice-president of the Barcelona FC, and Jordi Llauradó, the manager in charge of Espai Barça.
Laporta explained how the move to the Olympic Stadium will be managed and how the club will have to play two seasons without being able to guarantee access to the stadium to all season ticket holders: "three companies have submitted bids for the works to get the Olympic Stadium ready. We will have procedures to guarantee rotating and democratic access to games for all club members. That is to say, it will not only affect members with season tickets in the areas where work is being carried out. If some members want to take leave of absence they can do so, but with a capacity of around 60,000 people, the same rotation system will be used". For the 2025/26 season, the capacity would be more than 50%, but not yet 100%.
This coming summer, work will focus on the first and second tiers, the technological area, the stadium's surroundings and the exterior urbanization. Actions inside the Camp Nou will include the demolition of the additional structure of the South Goal where the Medical Centre was located, restoration works, anti-carbonation and waterproofing of the stands, as well as structural finishes and the improvement and renovation of the broadcasting systems.
In the technological field, the installation of new telecommunications connections, the relocation of the data processing centre, the creation of a technical room for the registration of indoor telecommunications infrastructures and the installation of new connections for the TV Compound, the parking lot for mobile television units, are planned. The surroundings of the stadium will also be affected, with works to contain the Lateral parking lot, the construction of a new smart central warehouse and an experiential space for partner information and marketing, as well as replanting the trees.
Finally, with regard to the tasks related to the Modification of the General Metropolitan Plan (MPGM) already underway, urbanisation works are planned on Menéndez y Pelayo street, and the start of the procedures and demolition works of the building owned by the Club in Travessera de les Corts. That is, the old Picadero Clubhouse. The uncertainties generated by the war in Ukraine, especially in terms of rising prices of materials and their supply, has caused "an alteration to the schedule" for knocking down the third tier in the summer of 2023. The idea is to be able to stay the whole season at the Olympic Stadium in the 2023/24 season and return in 2024/25 to the Camp Nou with a 50% capacity. "This move will only mean one or two quarters of increased duration of the works, which are expected to be completed during the 2025/26 season," added Laporta
Promoting sustainable mobility
Laporta also emphasised the need for a new sustainable stadium. "With the new rethinking, a series of improvements have been made that will have a direct positive impact on the environment and aim to reduce Barça's ecological footprint, boost the circular economy and enhance the biodiversity of the area," explained Laporta. Among these improvements are the commitment to promote sustainable mobility, making it easier to reach the stadium by public transport and favouring electric mobility, since up to 60% of the parking spaces will be electrified, including spaces designated for bicycles and other personal mobility vehicles (PMVs). In the same vein, energy savings and efficiency will also be promoted with the installation of 18,000 m2 of photovoltaic panels on the new roof, to generate electricity equivalent to about 600 Eixample homes.
In the field of technology, the future Camp Nou will incorporate state-of-the-art technologies, including a 360º screen inside which will offer the public a new experience. The security and vehicle access control system will also be improved, and maximum use will be made of the possibilities offered by 5G connectivity.
Financing in progress
The Club has secured financing for this first part of the works and continues to work to find funding for the whole projected, whose estimated cost is €1.5bn, as approved by a large majority in last December's members' vote. "We are working with Goldman Sachs, investors are coming this May to the city. We have the money to start the work with a bridge loan of €180m and two more companies have entered the pool of investors to be part of the project. We are satisfied," Laporta said. These investments "do not affect the ordinary management of the club, it will not affect the sports management", Laporta pointed out.
Regarding other works, such as the new Palau Blaugrana or the Ice Rink, Laporta explained that he hopes to be able to give news soon. "We want to do well to have a pavilion for over 15,000 spectators to allow us to host Euroleague's Final Fours" he added.