Fan Experience

PortAventura World brought in to enhance Espai Barça offering

Featured image credit: FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona has teamed up with theme and leisure park operator PortAventura World for a venture designed to enhance the fan experience at the future Espai Barça, along with developing potential international projects.

The two parties said they will pool their experience and knowledge to explore the feasibility of developing new physical entertainment projects and themed experiences. The first focus area of the strategic collaboration is to study possible entertainment experiences at Espai Barça, the Spanish LaLiga football club’s wide-ranging infrastructure development venture.

Barcelona said this would complement the future museum, and other commercial and leisure attractions, when activity resumes at a new-look Spotify Camp Nou in November 2024. The two parties said these projects would “combine the history and impact of FC Barcelona, its special relationship with the city and its universal outlook”, with PortAventura World’s prestige and knowledge in the development of theme parks.

The two organisations are also teaming up to create a working group that will study projects on an international scale, such as the opening of specific entertainment areas and larger format theme parks under the FC Barcelona brand.

The former would combine interactive, educational and entertainment experiences with different themed attractions, catering services and merchandising outlets, mostly in indoor spaces of between 500 m2 and 2,000 m2.

The latter envisages the development of large-scale theme parks over seven hectares in size, centred around attractions, restaurants, shops, museums, shows and other associated services.

Juli Guiu, vice-president of FC Barcelona’s Marketing Area, said: “This partnership with PortAventura World is part of FC Barcelona’s strategic project to explore new ways of generating resources within the entertainment industry.

“It is in the spirit of this board of directors to be imaginative so that FC Barcelona finds formulas to maximise the brand’s potential worldwide. To do so with a travel companion with such experience and roots in the territory as Port Aventura is for us one of the biggest guarantees of success.”

Arturo Mas-Sardá, president of PortAventura World’s administrative board, added: “This agreement is another step in PortAventura World’s continued diversification into the football and sports sector, as demonstrated by its successful previous alliances with various clubs and the establishment of a joint venture with LaLiga.

“We firmly believe that this new and challenging project will not only strengthen the names of FC Barcelona and PortAventura World, but will also provide visitors with unforgettable experiences that combine fun and passion for sport. Together, we’re poised to take the crossover between sports and entertainment to new heights.”

FC Barcelona last week secured final approvals for its Camp Nou revamp, with Barcelona City Council having granted the main licence that will enable the club to complete remodelling work at the famous venue.

The licence gave Barcelona the go-ahead to press on with rebuilding work above and below ground, with the club having started demolishing the stands of the old venue at the end of last season. Espai Barça centres on an expansion of the Camp Nou’s capacity from 98,000 to 105,000, and will also include a new Palau Blaugrana arena and the wide-ranging Campus Barça development.

Earlier this month, Barcelona presented its hospitality vision for the revamped Camp Nou, with a showroom to be set up at the stadium whilst building work is carried out. Barcelona said the quality of the VIP offering at the new-look stadium will be “much higher” than at the old stadium. The VIP offering is set to triple, with a total capacity of 9,900 across the stadium.