Camp Nou to welcome fans after 17 months

FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou will welcome back fans after 17 months of no spectators, following the announcement from local health authorities that the stadium can host a 30% capacity crowd. 

Around 29,803 fans will be able to watch the first game of the LaLiga 2021-22 season, with Barcelona taking on Real Sociedad on August 15. 

Real Sociedad also happened to be the last opponent Barcelona faced with fans watching in March 2020. 

Barcelona has explained that 85% of tickets will be offered to club members, with the remaining 15% going to “contractual and institutional club commitments”. 

In July, Barcelona had to switch the Joan Gamper Trophy to Estadi Johan Cruyff, as the Government of Catalonia withdrew its support for the event. Originally, the green light had been given for Camp Nou to open at 20% capacity for the Joan Gamper Trophy games against Juventus on August 8, which Barcelona went on to win 3-0.  

Local health authorities have also announced that sports facilities with a capacity of less than 10,000 people are allowed to be 70% full but with a maximum of 3,000 fans. 

For fan safety and to follow COVID-19 protocols, the Camp Nou will be divided into eight blocks with their own entrances. Fans will only be able to use the entrances that are on their tickets with a specified time zone for entry, and will not be able to move between the different sections at any time. 

Face masks must be worn at all times, social distancing observed and food will not be allowed to be eaten within the stadium.

Last week, Spain’s Ministry of Health announced that a 40% capacity limit would be placed on LaLiga stadiums for the new season. Following Barcelona’s announcement, the Camp Nou will be operating at slightly below this limit.

Image: Michael Lee on Unsplash