Barcelona set to play away from Camp Nou for a year due to revamp plans
They want to increase the Camp Nou's capacity from 99,000 to 110,000
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has stated that the Catalan giants will play at a different stadium for up to a year when the club starts its planned upgrade of the Camp Nou.
Laporta has suggested that he wants the overhaul of the Camp Nou to begin in the summer of 2022, adding that the long-delayed work would take three to four years to complete.
However, the Spaniard claimed that the team would only need to find an alternative venue for a maximum of 12 months.
"We are considering different possibilities, but the strongest candidate is the Johan Cruyff Stadium," Laporta told Catalan radio Rac1 on Friday.
The Johan Cruyff Stadium - where the club's women's team play - is part of the club's training complex on the outskirts of the city.
However, with a capacity of just 6,000, Laporta said the club wants to increase that to 50,000 if the men's team end up playing there.
A different option for Barcelona, according to Laporta, could be to play at the city's Montjuic Stadium - the facility that hosted opening ceremonies of the 1992 Summer Olympics, as well as operating as Espanyol's stadium for a number of years.
🗣️🏟️ @JoanLaportaFCB outlines the importance of continuing with the Espai Barça project
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 8, 2021
Despite already possessing the title of Europe's largest football stadium, the club wants to increase the Camp Nou's capacity from 99,000 to 110,000, as well as improving the surrounding areas of the ground.
When Laporta won the elections in March and took over Barcelona as a result, he inherited a club that were dangerously close to bankruptcy.
Considering the current financial situation at the club, the four-time Champions League winners are in talks with Goldman Sachs for the investment bank to loan the cash-strapped club the £1.27 billion (€1.5bn) needed to finance the operation.
However, this would only go through if the financing plan won a vote by the club's members.
"(The new Camp Nou) is fundamental for the viability of the club and its immediate future," Laporta stated. "The impact it will have for Barca is critical so that we can compete with our competitors who have already done what is needed."
Barcelona's rivals Real Madrid made significant improvements to its Santiago Bernabeu stadium during last year's pandemic lockdown, with the lack of fans in attendance allowing them to play their matches at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano stadium.
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