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Barcelona to play games away from the Nou Camp for one year

Barcelona to move from Nou Camp.

FC Barcelona are set to play matches away from their famous Nou Camp stadium for one year as the ground gets redeveloped.

The beleaguered La Liga club are redeveloping the Nou Camp as part of their ‘Espai Barca’ plans which have been put in place to upgrade the infrastructure of Barcelona’s stadium and other facilities.

It is reported that Barca will move into Estadi Johan Cruyff, home of the club’s youth academy while work is ongoing although, with a capacity of just 6,000, playing there would be a far cry from what the five-time European champions are used to.

Barca to move to smaller ground.

Barca regularly play in front of crowds of around 90,000 for their biggest matches – although their average home attendance for 2018/2019 was just 76,104.

Playing in empty stadia during the Covid-19 pandemic will mean that small crowds wouldn’t be a completely new experience for their players but Barcelona President Joan Laporta has indicated that they could try and expand Estadi Johan Cruyff’s capacity by a significant amount.

“It is being looked at, extending the Estadi Johan Cruyff’s capacity to 40,000 or 50,000 spectators,” he told Catalan radio station RAC1.

“They say it is possible and the most difficult part would be the effect on mobility and parking, but architecturally it could be done.”

Laporta’s ambitious plans for Barcelona.

Increasing a venue’s capacity by almost 800% does sound ambitious and Laporta is equally confident about the Espai Barca project as a whole.

“Espai Barca can have the same impact on the city that the Barcelona Olympic Games had in its time,” he said. “We will become a reference point in the world of leisure, with a futuristic, modern and sustainable stadium.”

Barcelona hope to make the Nou Camp the third-biggest stadium in the world, behind North Korea’s Rungrado 1st of May Stadium and India’s Narendra Modi Stadium, by increasing the capacity from from 99,000 to 110,000.

“The third tier will be completely redone, perhaps the first as well. There will be room for 110,000 spectators, more boxes, VIP areas and hospitality,” Laporta explained.

Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, the stadium which hosted the Olympics in 1992, has also been mooted as a potential temporary venue for Barcelona.

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