FC Barcelona director for economic and strategic area Jordi Moix has announced in a press conference that the board has decided to go ahead with the construction of the new Palau Blaugrana (basketball stadium) and also admitted the possibility of expanding Camp Nou’s capacity by 10,000 seats.
Barca have planned to build a new Palau Blaugrana in order to be eligible for the Euroleague Basketball. The construction will begin next year and the stadium will be ready for the season 2015-16. The cost of this stadium will be around €75 million and the club are looking at the possibility of financing the operation by finding a sponsor for the stadium naming rights.
Moix revealed that the club are looking to remodel Camp Nou stadium, and are considering the idea of expanding its capacity by 10,000 seats, although the final decision will depend on demand for season tickets. The minimum investment required to renovate the Camp Nou is estimated at €70 million, and the aim is to create more space for VIP boxes, expand the number of corporate seats, along with a restaurant in the stadium to improve its commercial and matchday revenue. The funding, if it is carried out, would partly arrive from the clubs own resources and partly from bank financing.
Moix also announced that the board plan to invest another €50 million in the ‘Future Espai Barçelona’, an area between the Camp Nou and Miniestadi, to improve the infrastructure and also exploit the clubs commercial potential by building a hotel, auditorium, gymnasium, office, restaurant and a shopping complex. “The idea is to open this area to the city and the district of Les Corts,” said Moix. This project will only begin after the completion of the Palau Blaugrana, which means Sandro Rosell’s board will have to be re-elected for them to see this through.
Meanwhile, president Sandro Rosell admitted that he is proud of the project ‘Espai Barcelona’ but that the decision will need the approval of the general assembly. “The socios own the club and therefore the meeting will determine if this proposal goes ahead.”
Among one of the achievements of the current directive, Moix added that the suspension of the final approval for the reclassification of the area around Mini Estadi has been successfully achieved, meaning the club can retain its assets.
Barca is also looking to build a new sports complex for training, in the Sant Joan Despi land that was repurchased at the end of last year. Joan Laporta’s board agreed to its sale for €21 million euros, of which only €1.5 million had been paid. The club has returned this first payment to recover the land.
Finally, the manager responsible for the heritage area of the club, Jordi Moix, has estimated a €11 million investment last season, devoted almost entirely to the new Masia.
Sources: fcbarcelona.cat, Marca.com, Expansion.com, Sport.es; Image credit: Genis