Espai Barça means the space of Barça. This is a project the most important part of which is the modernisation of Camp Nou. The club has recently presented new details of its long-term vision.
Financing not yet confirmed
More than 5 years have passed since the unveiling of the Camp Nou redevelopment design. The concept of the Japanese studio Nikken Sekkei has already aged a bit. At the time of the presentation, it was said that the cost of works would slightly exceed € 600 million. In the following years, the evaluation of works increased by another € 200 million.
FC Barcelona announced another update on Nou Camp Nou last Sunday. The cost of the renovation of the stadium is to amount to € 900 million, and an additional € 600 million will be spent on the construction or modernisation of facilities in the proximate vicinity.
This applies to Estadi Johan Cruyff (training ground), Campus Barça (esplanade and associated buildings) and Palau Blaugrana (team games hall). Thus, the total cost of the Espai Barça project is € 1.5 billion.
The Ordinary General Assembly has not yet approved the investment. Perhaps more details will be released on October 23, when "socios" return to talks about financing the project. If they accept the Espai Barça economic model, the project should receive a green light in early 2022.
Consequently, construction works may start in the summer of 2022 and last until the end of 2025. The € 1.5 billion investment is expected to pay off in future revenues from the use of various facilities at the Espai Barça complex. This could be as much as € 200 million a year, and after deducting all costs, the entire investment would pay off in 35 years.
Changes to the FC Barcelona stadium design
The new venue is to retain its open, Mediterranean character with wide terraces. As part of the new proposal, the club does not intend to build the first tier of stands from scratch. The first level will be optimised in terms of access by fans. The underground corridors are to disappear and supporters will not be able to move between the stands.
On the other hand, the third level of stands will be built from the ground up, with numerous VIP zones, instead of distributing them all over the stadium. As for premium seats, there are plans to build the so-called VIP ring between the second and third tiers. This independent premium zone will significantly increase the capacity of the VIP boxes and thus help to obtain higher revenues.
The stadium roof will change with regards to the previous design to incorporate more elements to aid sustainability such as a geothermal system. Additionally, the canopy is to receive 30,000 square metres of solar panels. Inside the stadium, a 360-degree screen is planned to enrich the visual experience of fans.
Camp Nou's capacity is still projected at 105,000. The number of parking spaces around the stadium has not changed and will amount to 2,200. However, it is proposed to increase the number of spots for bicycles, which is in line with the pro-ecology trend.
Author: Tomasz Sobura