Barcelona to spend a season away from Camp Nou at the city’s Olympic Stadium

barcelona are slated to play away from Nou Camp for a season after the club confirmed plans for their iconic stadium to undergo renovations from the summer.

The Nou Camp is one of the largest and best-known stadiums in football, with its capacity of 99,354, making it the fourth largest in the sport.

On Thursday, the club announced that it will begin renovating its ground, which originally opened in 1957, as the season draws to a close.

Although the work being done will not restrict them during the 2022/23 campaign, the club has confirmed that they will have to move to the following season, the 2023/24 campaign.

Instead, they will play at Lluis Companys Olympic Stadium, which hosted the 1992 games in the city, for that season, before returning in the second half of 2024 to their usual home.

However, work will continue into the 2024/25 season, which will mean the ground will only be at 50% capacity, resulting in the ground not returning to full capacity for two seasons.

Barcelona will play at the Stadio Olimpico for one season.  Image: PA Images
Barcelona will play at the Stadio Olimpico for one season. Image: PA Images

The Olympic Stadium can accommodate up to 60,713 fans, which means the club is still getting a healthy number of fans to cheer on.

It was previously the home of local rivals Espanyol from 1997 to 2009, having previously played at Estadi de Sarria where the club won the Copa del Rey twice and the UEFA Cup.

They moved in 2009 to move into the newly built RCDE Stadium, which has left the Olympic Stadium empty since then.

Confirming the plans for Camp Nou, the club said in a statement: “Barcelona Mayor​​Ada Colau and FC Barcelona President​​Joan Laporta appeared this morning at the City Hall Press Room. de Barcelona immediately after the City Council’s Governing Committee approved the granting of a permit to restructure the Camp Nou.

“…Renovation work at Camp Nou, the epicenter of the Espai Barça project, will begin in June, as soon as the football season ends, and in accordance with the building permit approved this morning.

Seeing a half-empty Nou Camp will be strange.  Image: PA Images
Seeing a half-empty Nou Camp will be strange. Image: PA Images

Explaining why they will not leave the Nou Camp this summer and instead wait until next year, the statement went on to explain: “As President Joan Laporta said a few weeks ago, given the uncertainties generated by the war in Ukraine, particularly with regard to the cost and availability of materials, a precautionary principle must be observed to minimize risks and protect the next harvest’s revenue, but with the least possible impact on the work schedule.

“The demolition of the third tier will therefore take place in the summer of 2023, which will buy time due to the current price uncertainty and ensure that the Camp Nou can operate at virtually full capacity next season.

“Earlier demolition would mean having to play the 2022/23 season at only 50% capacity.”

Eintracht Frankfurt recently had around 30,000 fans inside the Camp Nou.  Image: PA Images
Eintracht Frankfurt recently had around 30,000 fans inside the Camp Nou. Image: PA Images

The exit from the stadium is similar to what Real Madrid did last year, when they played at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium for the season.

Tottenham Hotspur also needed a temporary home when they tore down White Hart Lane to build Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on the same ground.

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