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Features

Contract awarded for incubator project at Barcelona’s Estadi Olímpic

Barcelona-based construction company Constructora de Calaf has won a contract to develop a sports start-up incubator project at the city’s Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys.

Constructora de Calaf prevailed over seven other bidders for the contract, according to Spanish sports business website 2Playbook, with disused office space on the south side of the stadium set be adapted.

Public entity Barcelona de Serveis Municipals (B:SM) awarded the contract, with the venture intended to position Estadi Olímpic as a centre for innovation in the fields of sport and technology. Scheduled to be ready by the end of the first quarter of 2023, some €2.8m (£2.38m/$2.86m) will be invested to transform a space of 1,100 square metres.

The incubator intends to boost the development of start-ups, offer programmes to newly created companies and act to promote sports events held at other venues in Barcelona. The incubator is part of the wider Barcelona Sports Hub venture.

In April, the Ajuntament de Barcelona presented a €40m project that intends to transform the disused Palau d’Esports into the most advanced sports arena in Europe. Barcelona’s city council unveiled the design of the renovation project for a venue that first opened for the Catalan capital’s staging of the second edition of the Mediterranean Games in 1955, but has since fallen into disrepair.

The Palau d’Esports has hosted thousands of sporting events, but in the 1990s mainly became used for concerts and in 2000 was remodelled as Barcelona Teatre Musical. However, due to new safety regulations, the building became obsolete for concerts and has not been in use for the past 14 years.

The Ajuntament de Barcelona has proposed its rebirth within the framework of the Barcelona Green Deal, the city’s urban and economic agenda that looks towards 2030. The Palau d’Esports will be redeveloped to become the headquarters of the Barcelona Sports Hub, a sports-focused innovation and technology venture located in the Olympic district of Montjuïc. The new-look arena intends to become a benchmark venue for esports.

FC Barcelona last month confirmed an agreement with the Ajuntament de Barcelona to spend the 2023-24 season at the Estadi Olímpic while renovation work is carried out at the Camp Nou.

Image: Kris Arnold/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size