Barcelona have announced plans to close the Camp Nou next season for renovations.
The iconic stadium will be closed for the duration of the 2023/24 season as the club prepares to put the investment received from Spotify to good use. However, the first phase of renovations will begin in June, and is expected to take several seasons to complete.
The main Blaugrana stadium was first opened in 1957 and after a number of upgrades in the ensuing seasons, it became the largest stadium in Europe. The Camp Nou grounds currently have a capacity of 99,354.
Earlier in the month, Barcelona and Spotify signed a massive deal that would see cash pumping up to £256m over the next four seasons of the podcast platform. Spotify has also bought the naming rights for the Catalan club’s stadium, which will be renamed “Spotify Camp Nou” for four seasons starting in 2022/23.
According to reports, the new modified Spotify Camp Nou will have a seating capacity of about 100,000 after the renovations. Barcelona will play their home matches at the Olympic Stadium while renovation work continues at the Camp Nou.
The club released an official statement confirming the news on its website on Wednesday. The statement, which confirms that the renovation is in phases, reads: “Renovation works at Camp Nou, the center of the Espai Barcelona project, will begin in June, once the football season is over, and according to the building permit approved this morning.
Work will focus on level one and two, technological aspects, stadium suburbs, and external urbanization.
Actions within the Camp Nou will include demolition of the additional structure in the Southern Target area where the medical center is located, restoration work, anti-carbonation and waterproofing of the wings, as well as structural finishes and improvement and refurbishment of the relocation systems.
“As President Joan Laporta said a few weeks ago, given the uncertainty created by the war in Ukraine, particularly regarding the cost and availability of materials, a precautionary principle must be observed to minimize risks and protect next season’s revenue, but with minimal impact on the agenda.
Accordingly, the demolition of the third tier will continue in the summer of 2023, which will buy time in light of the current uncertainty about prices, and will ensure that the Camp Nou can be operated at almost full capacity next season. Demolition at any time would have meant having to play the 2022/23 season at just 50% of capacity.
The Barcelona statement continues: “The future Camp Nou will include the latest technology, including a 360-degree screen inside the ‘pot’ that will provide a new experience for fans.”
“The vehicle’s security and access control systems will also be improved and the potential offered by 5G connectivity will be maximized.”
The Olympic Stadium is directly under the control of the Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain. It is based in Montjuïc, Barcelona, and was built for the Olympic Games hosted by Spain in 1992.
The stadium is officially known as the Lluís Company Stadium and has a capacity of 55,926. It will host Barcelona matches at home until the 2025/26 season, when the club estimated that the renovations at the Camp Nou would expire.