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Barcelona secures Espai Barça legal ruling

Spanish LaLiga football club Barcelona has been cleared to proceed with its Espai Barça project after the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia rejected appeals relating to the land on which work will be carried out.

The CUP party and the Federation of Neighbourhood Associations of Barcelona had been against the club’s project, which included plans to expand the capacity of its Camp Nou stadium and the creation of the Barça Campus.

The rejection of the appeals grants Barcelona definitive permission to go ahead with the project. Newly elected club president Joan Laporta is now set to decide on whether to proceed with the project as planned or make any amendments.

Barcelona completed the first part of its Espai Barça masterplan with the opening of Estadi Johan Cruyff in August 2019. Espai Barça 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 project also includes the 7,500-seat Palau Blaugrana, which serves as the home of Barcelona’s basketball and handball clubs and is set to be replaced by a new 10,500-seat arena. The Camp Nou’s capacity will increase from around 99,000 to over 105,000, with a new roof to be one of the main features of the revamped stadium.

It was reported in May that the budget for Espai Barça had risen to more than €1bn (£860m/$1.18bn). The initial budget for the project had been set at €600m but this has since risen to €725m.

The report came after Barcelona announced it had made “small architectural” changes in an attempt to get the project back on track.

Image: Patrick T’Kindt on Unsplash