Miniestadi – until 2019
|Clubs||FC Barcelona B|
|Cost||ESP 270 Million|
|Design||Josep Casals, Ramon Domènech|
|Contractor||Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas|
|Address||Carrer d'Arístides Maillol, 23-29, 08028 Barcelona, Spain|
When was the Miniestadi built?
The Miniestadi was founded near FC Barcelona's main stadium, Camp Nou, as a facility primarily for the club's reserve team. The opening of the arena, after nine months of construction, took place on 23rd September 1982. For the inauguration, an internal FC Barcelona scrimmage was played in the stadium, in which Diego Armando Maradona, recently brought to the club, played.
The stadium was one of the first completed projects during the term of Josep Lluís Núñez, president of the club since 1978. Between 1980 and 1982, in connection with the organisation of the 1982 World Cup in Spain, Camp Nou itself was also extended, adding a third tier of stands.
The Miniestadi, as the reserve team stadium was called, was designed by Josep Casals and Ramon Domènech. It was built by company Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas at a cost of 270 million pesetas. Before the opening of the new arena, FC Barcelona's reserves used the Camp de futbol de Fabra i Coats, located in the Sant Andreu de Palomar district.
Where was FC Barcelona's reserve team stadium built?
The facility was built near the Camp Nou and the club's indoor arena Palau Blaugrana and ice rink Palau de Gel (it was separated from the hall and the ice rink by the Carrer d'Arístides Maillol street, over which a footbridge was built), thus completing FC Barcelona's sports complex.
What did the Miniestadi look like?
The stadium had a football-specific layout, with stands surrounding the pitch on all sides. The stands were two-tiered (with the upper level being much higher than the bottom one), with equal height around the perimeter. The western part of the stands was roofed. The capacity of the stadium was 15,276 spectators. The facility was equipped with floodlighting. The stadium had many similarities to the nearby Camp Nou, although the Miniestadi was, of course, much smaller.
In the proximity of Europe's biggest stadium, the structure could indeed give the impression of a small ('mini') stadium, although in fact, many small or medium-sized cities would be more than happy to have a similar arena, with a coherent, enclosed layout and a capacity of more than 15 000 spectators. In the second half of the 1980s, two almost identical-looking facilities were built in Spain: the Nou Estadi Castalia in Castelló de la Plana (1987) and the Estadio Municipal Cartagonova in Cartagena (1988).
For whom did the Miniestadi serve?
The stadium was mainly used by the club's reserve team (FC Barcelona B), which played for many seasons at the second level of competition. It was also used by other FC Barcelona teams, youth teams and the women's section. In addition, the stadium has hosted such events as American football matches and concerts (Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Elton John have performed at the Miniestadi). It has also occasionally hosted national team matches (including three matches of the Andorra national team in the World Cup qualifying round).
Why was the Miniestadi closed?
Between 2017 and 2019, a new stadium for team reserves, the Estadi Johan Cruyff, was built on the site of FC Barcelona's training complex, the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, located in Sant Joan Despí, in the western suburbs of Barcelona, about 8.5 km west of Camp Nou (it opened on 27th August 2019). The new facility replaced the Miniestadi, which was subsequently demolished (demolition began in autumn 2019 and was completed in early 2020). A farewell gala to commemorate the old stadium was held on 24th September 2019 at Auditori 1899.
Together with the ground, the footbridge over Carrer d'Arístides Maillol was also demolished. On the site of the dismantled Miniestadi, a new FC Barcelona indoor arena, the Nou Palau Blaugrana, with a capacity to accommodate 10,000 spectators, is planned to be built between 2024 and 2026. All of the changes are a result of the implementation of FC Barcelona's infrastructure development concept approved in 2014, the so-called Espai Barça.
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A really nice selection today: the mini Camp Nou from Barcelona, old school Condomina from Murcia, concrete masterpiece from Pontevedra and miniature new arena from Estepona. Enjoy!