Barça home rejig to cost ‘less than budgeted’



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Spotify Camp Nou with reduced costs Image: FC Barcelona

The President of FC Barcelona Joan Laporta recently reviewed the club’s current affairs. Among other issues which Laporta took up was the remodeling of the Barça home – the Spotify Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, within the framework of the Espai Barça.

‘SPORT’ quoted Laporta as stating, “Next year will not be easy. We are moving to a stadium that has half the capacity of Spotify Camp Nou. This will generate a reduction in income but we are working to compensate for this by looking for more sponsors. The budget we have for next year in sponsors is already 95 percent covered and we will be able to get more revenue.”

Futbol Club Barcelona, commonly referred to as Barcelona and colloquially known as Barça, is a professional football club based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, that competes in LaLiga, the top flight of Spanish football.

Camp Nou, branded as Spotify Camp Nou for sponsorship reasons, is the home of LaLiga club FC Barcelona since its completion in 1957. With a current seating capacity of 99,354, it is the stadium with the largest capacity in Spain and Europe, and the third largest football stadium in the world. The Spotify Camp Nou is presently undergoing total transformation.

The remodeled Spotify Camp Nou will be the centerpiece of a spectacular €1.5billion-plus (£1.3bn, $1.6bn) Espai Barça project, which will open up the ground to its surroundings and boast the latest in technology and sustainability.

The Espai Barça development plan goes well beyond modernization and reconstruction of FC Barcelona’s home venue Spotify Camp Nou. In addition to increasing the capacity of the current stadium to 105,000 from circa 99,000 and completely revamping the current structure of the Spotify Camp Nou, the Espai Barça project entails building a new Palau Blaugrana with a capacity of 15,000, an additional court with a capacity of 2,000, an ice rink, a new social area, a new commercial area, revamped club offices, La Masía (read FC Barcelona’s youth academy), and an additional 5,000 parking spots.

In the meantime, the Barça will be reluctant tenants at the Olympic Stadium in the Montjuïc area of the City, where the rival LaLiga team RCD Espanyol de Barcelona played between 1997 and 2009. The move, Barça estimate, will cost them around €90m in revenue annually, in part due to the massively reduced capacity of only 50,000 – almost half the number of spectators that the Spotify Camp Nou can hold.

The 55,926-capacity Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys is a stadium in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Originally built in 1927 for the 1929 International Exposition in the City, it was renovated in 1989 to be the main stadium for the 1992 Summer Olympics and the 1992 Summer Paralympics.

‘SPORT’ further stated that the Spotify Camp Nou will reopen in November 2024 at 70 percent capacity, coinciding with the 125th anniversary of the club’s history. Also due to reopen at the same time are the FCB Botiga (splashy official retail store for the FC Barcelona soccer team), the museum and much of the VIP seating area.

To date, however, only 15,000 members have applied for their season ticket for the men’s first team matches at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys de Montjuïc, out of the 27,000 reserved for them.

Observed Laporta, “Playing in the Montjuïc Stadium is uncomfortable, although I don’t find it so uncomfortable. We all have an established routine in our lives. We also associate Montjuïc with going to concerts.”

In spite of this, the club has opened up the sales to the general members and ‘Jan’ is “optimistic”: “I think we’ll reach 27,000.”
 

Timing and Budget

Likewise, if the deadlines are not met, “there will be economic consequences for Limak (the construction company)” which, in the worst-case scenario, could amount to “€1 million per day of delay”.

However, the Barça President is sure that “it won’t happen because they work at a very good pace and always meet the deadlines for their work. It is one of their strong points.”

In this sense, Laporta has expressed his confidence in reducing the amount budgeted for the remodeling of Spotify Camp Nou – “I believe that we are going to reduce the budgeted amount for the stadium and for contingencies – in fact, it is already happening. We are very much on top of cutting the €1.1 billion that was said. I think we are going to be at 960 million and maybe 930 million if everything goes well. And I don’t think the Palau will reach €200 million.”

The reason? “We have to bear in mind that we signed flexible interest rates in some parts of the operation. This means that we will be able to change those interests depending on whether the market gives us better prices,” argued the President of FC Barcelona.

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