FC Barcelona - Camp Nou, Not Big enough? (by Kieran Lynam)

FC Barcelona – Camp Nou, Not Big enough? (by Kieran Lynam)

FC Barcelona has confirmed plans to build the largest stadium in the Europe with a capacity of 105,000. The Barça board of directors will make a decision in the first two weeks of January on what stadium project will be subject to a referendum with the club’s members.

The Catalans are set to hold a vote between its directors at a meeting scheduled in the first month of new year to conclude whether to renovate the current 99,786-capacity ground, or to construct a new ground. Club spokesman Toni Freixa has this week explained the two decisions as between: “The construction of a new stadium on the land on Diagonal, property which belongs to the University of Barcelona, and a profound remodeling project that would constitute a new stadium keeping current structure of the Camp Nou.

“Both would have a capacity of 105,000 spectators, the stadium would be covered, there will be a construction of a new Palau with a capacity of 12,000 spectators, an adjacent court with a capacity of 2,000 spectators, 6,000 new parking spots and access to the Ciutat Esportiva of the Miniestadi.

“We’ve made advances, we have all the information and we’re in a position to make a decision.

“The project need to be viable from a technical perspective, urbanist and economic. We would never submit a project that would endanger the sustainability of the club.” At the start of this season, it has been announced that at the end of the 2013/14 season that the capacity of the Nou camp will increase to 101,000 due to the removal of individual seats in favour of standing areas, creating an extra 1,300 places.

Considered as one of the most important arena’s European football, the construction of Camp Nou started on 28 March 1954 as Barcelona’s previous stadium, Camp de Les Corts, had no scope for expansion. Although originally planned to be called Estadi del FC Barcelona, the more popular name Camp Nou was used. Construction of Camp Nou began on 28 March 1954 before a crowd of 60,000 Barça fans and took three years to complete, going 336% over budget for a final cost of 288 million pesetas. The stadium was officially opened on 24 September 1957.

This historic stadium has also witnessed some memorable encounters over the years. And it was also one of several stadiums used throughout the 1982 World Cup, hosting the inauguration ceremony on 13 June. Before a 100,000-person crowd, Belgium upset the defending champions Argentina 1–0 in the match that followed.

The stadium’s capacity has varied greatly over the years as well, opening at 106,146, but growing to 121,749 for the 1982 FIFA World Cup.When complete, the new Camp Nou will be third in terms of capacity to only two stadiums in the world: the Rungrado May Day stadium in North Korea, which holds 150,000, and the Yuva Bharati Stadium (Saltlake Stadium) in Kolkota, which holds 120,000.