Spotify Camp Nou Gol Sur razing work on


Camp Nou stadium update Nov 2022 Image: FC Barcelona

Taking advantage of the World Cup underway in Qatar, the LaLiga club FC Barcelona is carrying on with the revamp work of the Gol Sur area of its residence – Spotify Camp Nou – in Barcelona, Spain.

‘FC Barcelona’ stated that partial demolition work of the third tier (Gol Sur) is now underway. In fact, the stadium revamp work is the fulcrum of the Espai Barça project and affects the Gol Sur area for which the partial demolition work is on. The first phase of the revamp work will be completed on December 30th just in time for the matchup against Barça’s peer team RCD Espanyol de Barcelona on December 31st.

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.

The 99,354-capacity Camp Nou, officially branded as Spotify Camp Nou for sponsorship and financial reasons, is a football stadium in Barcelona, Spain. It has been the home stadium of FC Barcelona since its completion in 1957.

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 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. This ambitious initiative has been in work for several years and is scheduled to be ready for the 2024-2025 seasons. In April 2014, Espai Barça was approved by the club’s members with a budget of $700 million.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup™ is an international association football tournament contested by the men’s national teams of FIFA’s member-associations. The 22nd FIFA World Cup is underway in Qatar from November 20th and will conclude on December 18th, 2022. This is the first World Cup to be held in the Arab world and the second World Cup held entirely in Asia after the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan. At an estimated cost of over $220 billion, it is currently the most expensive World Cup ever held. France is the defending champions, having defeated Croatia 4-2 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ final.

‘FC Barcelona’ further stated that on September 1st, preliminary work began on the dismantling of equipment and facilities and the temporary transfer of the systems and technology infrastructure (CPD). Work is on to equip the venue with new connectivity network and provide tech teeth to the refurbished Spotify Camp Nou. Furthermore, the video scoreboard in the Gol Sur area and the seats were removed to carry out the partial pulling down work.

The outer ring will be torn down, the cantilever roof that protrudes from the façade of the Gol Sur (former site of the Asistència Sanitària sports medical centre) and half of the third tier of the same South Goal zone, part of which acts as a counterweight, will also be demolished. The demolition will be done via traditional mechanical methods, removing all the structural elements in the second tier.

The partial demolition work price tag stands at circa 4.6 million euros that will be covered by the bridging loan agreed last Summer and the same was provided by Goldman Sachs (American multinational investment bank and financial services company). The top-flight is sitting on a debt pile and the extensive Goldman Sachs bridging loan has saved the club from bankruptcy.

A bridge loan is a type of short-term loan, typically taken out for a period of two weeks to three years pending the arrangement of larger or longer-term financing. It is usually called a bridging loan in the United Kingdom, also known as a ‘caveat loan’, and also known in some applications as a swing loan.

Second Phase

Although the major part of the partial Gol Sur demolition work will be carried out during the Qatar 2022 break, over the next few months work on the second phase of the venue revamp is also being planned in which the remaining structure will be dismantled. The only part remaining will be the exterior pillars reaching the second tier as a protection measure and then construction work will begin on the new exit stairs and walkways.

Major venue rejig work of the arena has been planned during the 2023-2024 seasons during which fixtures will be played at the 55,926-capacity Estadi Lluís Companys in Montjuïc, Barcelona, Spain. Priority has been accorded to the Gol Sur work as it is in this space that the entire technical infrastructure of the stadium will be lodged.

Gol Sur Seats

The Gol Sur partial pulling down work will lead to 3,782 seats, mainly in the third tier, being done away with. Out of the 3,782 seats, 3,182 belong to the season ticket holders, who will be relocated to similar areas or will be offered a temporary moratorium on the payment of their season ticket.

As for the second tier, 1,215 season ticket holders who sat between Entrances 315 and 322 will be affected. They will have to move from a covered seat to an uncovered seat and the club will adjust prices in the form of compensation. Six VIP boxes in the second tier will also be affected, which are usually used by the visiting clubs.

The bulk of the work is being carried on between Gates 34 and 46, and Entrances 521 and 422, and once the partial demolition of the third tier is complete, pillars will be built, the foundation work will be put in place and new stairs and evacuation routes will be built for Gates 315 to 322 and for Entrances 1-21, 116-121 and 211-221.

The first and second tier seats will remain unaffected by the work.

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