Spanish LaLiga football club Barcelona has completed the first part of its Espai Barça masterplan with the opening of Estadi Johan Cruyff.

The stadium, which from this season will be the new home of the Barça B and women’s teams, as well as the U19 side when it plays in European competitions, was inaugurated at an event held on Tuesday evening.

Activities included a match between the U19 teams of Barcelona and Dutch Eredivisie club Ajax, the two clubs for whom legendary footballer Johan Cruyff both played and coached. Designed by Batlle i Roig Arquitectura, the stadium has a 6,000 capacity and incorporates a number of innovative technologies. It becomes the centrepiece of the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, located on the outskirts of Barcelona, ​​just a few kilometres from the Camp Nou.

The inauguration of the stadium followed on from Monday’s unveiling of a statue of Cruyff on the esplanade outside the Camp Nou. Estadi Johan Cruyff is the first finished piece of Espai Barça, the project which seeks to transform and integrate Barcelona’s stadia and arenas.

The programme envisages the redevelopment of the Camp Nou, and the creation of the Barça Campus, which involves opening the club facilities up to the city, removing architectural barriers and introducing measures to improve urban mobility in the vicinity of the stadium.

The development of Estadi Johan Cruyff means the Miniestadi, until now the home of Barça B and the women’s team, is no longer required. The site will be used for the construction of the new Palau Blaugrana, the home of Barcelona’s basketball, handball, roller hockey and futsal teams, and one of the main facilities of Espai Barça.

The main features of Estadi Johan Cruyff include its asymmetric profile, with a grandstand for 1,000 spectators and a lower tier for the other 5,000 fans. The construction and design of the new stadium also includes a major commitment to accessibility, with strategically located areas for wheelchair users.

Sustainability is also a focus, such as through the optimisation and reuse of the excavated site in order to reduce the volume of waste produced in the construction process, and features inside the building such as low consumption lighting.

The stadium is also one of the first in Europe to use LED lighting and will be equipped with two video scoreboards.

The major renovation of the Camp Nou is at the heart of Espai Barça. Initial work on the €360m (£327.2m/$399.3m) Camp Nou renovation, which will see the stadium have a seating capacity of around 105,000 once finished, commenced in the summer of 2018. Work began on Estadi Johan Cruyff with the symbolic laying of the first stone in September 2017.

Image: FC Barcelona