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Venue revenue record sees Barcelona beat financial projections

Spotify Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain

Featured image credit: Jordi Roca/CC BY 3.0/Edited for size

FC Barcelona has hailed record revenue from venue operations as the Spanish LaLiga football club outperformed its financial projections for the 2022-23 year amid the ongoing Espai Barça project.

Barcelona’s Board of Directors has announced that the 2022-23 financial year closed with a net profit of €304m (£263.4m/$322.3m) after tax, higher than the €274m projected in last year’s report. During the 2022-23 season, Barcelona achieved, on a consolidated level, operating income of €1.259bn compared to last year’s €1.02bn and profit of €98m.

Barcelona said it has made improvements in all lines of business, recording figures higher than expected in each of them, but has highlighted record results in commercial and venue operations. Barcelona posted an average attendance of 83,497 for LaLiga matches held at the Spotify Camp Nou during the 2022-23 season, the highest figure recorded in the 21st century.

Venue operations closed the 2022-23 financial year to June 30 with total revenue of €229m, a figure 14% higher than budgeted and 8% more than what was recorded in the 2018-19 season, the last full campaign prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.

At the Camp Nou, €121m in income was generated by the first season ever to see a million tickets sold to see the men’s first team, while there were also record gate takings for women’s football, mainly at Estadi Johan Cruyff, bringing in €2.7m and for the basketball team’s games at Palau Blaugrana. The latter brought in €4.5m, 126% higher than the 2018-19 pre-pandemic season.

Meanwhile, Barça Museum closed its final year in its traditional location with turnover of €39.9m. A new club museum is part of the wider Espai Barça plans.

Barcelona highlighted that the Camp Nou was the stadium with the highest average attendance in Europe last season, according to UEFA’s recent European Club Talent and Competition Landscape report. The club added: “This once again demonstrates the strength of the FC Barcelona brand, which continues to be a global benchmark for creating synergies and offering unique fan experiences.”

Barcelona said its net debt has been reduced for the second consecutive season, dropping from €680m as of June 30, 2021 to the current €552m as of June 30, 2023. This does not include all the loans related to the financing of Espai Barça, which are part of a separate structure that is financed with the resources generated by the project.

Barcelona president, Joan Laporta, in July revealed that the club is planning on reducing its investment in the Espai Barça project from €1.1bn to €960m. Barcelona said the reduction in net debt has consequently helped to reduce the club’s overall debt.

In terms of the budget for the 2023-24 season, Barcelona is projecting revenue of €859m and a profit of €11m before tax. Barcelona added: “The club is convinced that it is doing things right, for it has ended the year with an overall profit despite the reduction in ordinary income from season and ordinary tickets as a result of the move to the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys.

“This season is going to require an additional effort from the club’s commercial areas, major containment of ordinary spending and should also entail a significant reduction in the payroll for professional athletes, while ensuring that they remain as competitive or more than they were before.”

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Barcelona is facing further upheaval for its Espai Barça facilities development venture, with the project’s executive director, Àlex Barbany, set to depart from his position.