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The Barça football club and the Barcelona city council have officially announced an agreement to begin the transformation of the entire Espai Barça - that is, the FC Barcelona complex in the Les Corts district - with the renovation of the Camp Nou stadium itself and the creation of the Campus Barça as an integrated space surrounding it. In a joint press conference, Barcelona mayor Ada Colau and Barça president Joan Laporta confirmed that there is a green light for the start of work on the Camp Nou, and that work will begin in June this year.

Council and club reach an accord

"We are presenting a very good agreement, both for Barça and for the city, and for the country as a whole," said Colau. In the press conference held at the Barcelona city council's Saló de Cent, it was explained that "we have approved the permit for the remodeling of the Camp Nou".

Thus, the official blessing has been given for the start of a project which will have transformed the entire environment of the Barça stadium when the estimated completion date arrives in 2027. Joan Laporta affirmed today that it will be in the coming month of June, just after the end of the current season, when the first work on the new project will begin.

Colau added that "as mayor I want to emphasize that it will be a great improvement for the city." She explained that the new Espai Barça will "allow us to gain more public space, open up the site to the residents of Les Corts", as well as "renovating more than 110,000 square metres, generating more green areas and increasing the bike lanes". 

Move to Montjuïc - for one season

Laporta confirmed that Barça will move to the Lluís Companys stadium - the former Olympic Stadium on Montjuïc - for the 2023/24 season. That is, the initial work over the coming season - 2022/23 - will still allow matches to be held at Camp Nou. One year later, the temporary move to Montjuïc will happen: "going to Montjuïc is the most logical option", said the president, but that stadium will also have to be adapted to Barça's needs. Laporta specified that, due to the outbreak of war in Ukraine, there would be some significant changes in the project due to the increase in the cost of materials. For example, the demolition of the third tier will be postponed and will be carried out during the transfer to Montjuïc.

Thus, matches will be played at the Camp Nou next season, although with some restrictions; then the plan is for one season at Lluís Companys, and a return to Les Corts for the 2024/25 season where the stadium will be able to be filled to 50% capacity. The following season, 2025/26, should see the completion of the renovation works on the stadium, although work on other parts of the project - a new Barcelona indoor arena and the Campus Barça environment - are not scheduled for completion until the end of 2027.

Although the Camp Nou renovation will include general upgrading in terms of structure, technology and comfort, it will have its greatest effect on the higher parts of the stadium: a new 3rd tier will be built, and between the 2nd and 3rd tier, a VIP level will be incorporated. The stadium will get a full roof over the seating areas, and it will also incorporate elements to boost sustainability: it will be covered with 30,000m2 of solar panels. A geothermal heating and cooling system will also be part of the new project, as well as state of the technologies, including "360 degree screens". Beyond the stadium, there will also be a new Palau Blaugrana indoor stadium, with capacity raised from the current 10,000 to 15,000.  

Reaffirming that the project must be "sustainable", Laporta assured the culers that the expenses associated with the new Espai Barça will not affect sporting decisions. He said that at the economic level, "the forecasts are good".

And the Barça president reiterated that the new Camp Nou "will be the largest, most innovative and attractive sports and entertainment venue in a city". He added that "it will be a reference in the world of entertainment and sports".


Main image: The new Espai Barça / FC Barcelona