Barcelona confirms deal to spend 2023-24 season at Estadi Olímpic

FC Barcelona has today (Tuesday) confirmed an agreement with the Barcelona City Council to spend the 2023-24 season at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys while renovation work is carried out at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona will be permitted to use the stadium between August 2023 and May 2024, with the venue set to have a capacity of 55,000 for matches played by the LaLiga club.

The council, which owns the stadium, will transfer the venue to the club for men’s first-team matches and in the days before and after games. Barcelona will also be able to occasionally use the stadium for training sessions and other events, including matches played by its women’s team in the latter stages of the Champions League.

Barcelona said its technical services department is currently assessing what adjustments need to be made to the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys to meet the standards necessary for hosting different events. Barcelona president Joan Laporta has estimated that the club’s move to the stadium will cost between €15m (£12.9m/$15.8m) and €20m.

The club has worked with the city council on a mobility plan that reinforces using public transport and sustainable travel on match days at the stadium. The expense associated with this plan is €7.2m, with Barcelona and the council to cover 64% and 36% of the costs, respectively.

The stadium, which was formerly known as the Estadio de Montjuïc, was used as the centrepiece of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. While Barcelona is using the stadium, efforts will be made to ensure that matches do not interfere with other activities taking place at the venue.

Barcelona confirmed in April that it planned on spending the 2023-24 season at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys as it announced the timeline for the major renovation of the Camp Nou.

The Camp Nou will be revamped as part of the wide-ranging Espai Barça project. Renovation work at the Camp Nou will begin this month but Barcelona will be able to spend the 2022-23 season at the stadium before moving to the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys next year.

Last week, Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo said that Barcelona would not be seeking an expansion of the stadium during its stay, with club officials said to believe that a significant number of its members may choose to opt out of their season tickets for 2023-24.

Adaptation of the Estadi Olímpic is expected to begin imminently and will be completed before two Bruce Springsteen concerts that are due to be held in April 2023. After that point only a new pitch will be required.

Following today’s announcement, Laporta said: “At FC Barcelona we have committed to adapting the Olympic facilities and ensuring the comfort of our members and fans on match day and we will modernise various services or auxiliary spaces such as the press room, changing rooms and an internal parking area.

“We estimate that the move to Montjuïc will cost Barça between 15 and 20 million euros. We are talking about an iconic stadium of the Barcelona Olympics, we are talking about an international reference for the city and at Barça, what we would like during the season that we are here is that it be the epicentre of Barcelona, shared with the great city that is Barcelona.

“All the members and subscribers who want to come to the stadium will do so through a democratic system and everyone can come by rotation, to ensure that as many Barcelona fans as possible can have access to the Olympic Stadium.”

Barcelona’s First Deputy Mayor, Jaume Collboni, added: “We have the honour of welcoming FC Barcelona. I think there is no better way to celebrate this 30th anniversary of the Olympic Games than to make this gesture of support and collaboration between the city and FC Barcelona.

“Thirty years in which it has been shown, among other things, that our city knows how to manage legacies and it has been able to manage the Olympic legacy in an excellent way, making these spaces useful for the city and especially for culture and sport. It is the best possible place for FC Barcelona to come and spend a season. And we do it inspired by the Olympic values.”

Image: FC Barcelona