Camp Nou, Europe's most spacious modern stadium

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  2. Camp Nou, Europe's most spacious modern stadium
Camp Nou Barcelona

The Camp Nou, or "new stadium", is the most spacious and comfortable modern stadium in Europe. With a height of 48 meters and a total surface area of 55,000 square meters, it can hold over 99,000 spectators(in the event of an emergency, the stadium can be evacuated in 5 minutes). According to UEFA rankings, the Camp Nou complex deserves no less than the 5 stars it has been awarded.

The new stadium has always belonged to the Barcelona soccer team, and even bears its name, "the FC Barcelona stadium". "The new stadium" was just a popular nickname given to the stadium becoming strongly entrenched and, in 2000, it was made official.

FC Barcelona logo

Nowadays, this place is practically sacred for all "Barça" fans. The most hotly contested matches between Barcelona and their eternal rivals Real Madrid have taken place in this stadium.

The new stadium was inaugurated in 1957, after repeated requests to replace the old stadium, Les Corts, built in 1922. Work began in March 1954. It was only after this that architects Francesc Mitjans and Josep Soteras began developing the project.

A year later, a master builder agreed to build the stadium for 66 million pesetas. However, the final cost was much higher - 280 million pesetas - and it took the club several years to repay this sum.

Camp Nou before a match

On the day of the inauguration, the whole city was decked out in the colors of FC Barcelona - blue and garnet. The match began with a mass led by the Archbishop of Barcelona. Then, in front of 90,000 spectators, Barcelona defeated their opponents 4-2. 10,000 doves were released into the sky during half-time. Thus began a new era in Barcelona's history.

Since then, the stadium has been renovated several times - new structures have been built, modifications made to old ones, the total capacity of the stadium increased and the pitch level lowered. In 2007, an international competition to design a new stadium was announced, and architects from all over the world were invited. A British firm, Foster, with considerable experience in building and improving large stadiums, won the competition.

When construction is completed:

  • the stadium's capacity will increase to 106,000,
  • the grandstand will be enlarged by 14,000 seats,
  • a retractable roof will be installed to protect the bleachers,
  • the space reserved for the media will be doubled,
  • mobile panels will have been installed to create special lighting effects,
  • and elevators for the disabled will have been installed, as will elevators for other fans.

Today, Camp Nou is the official home of FC Barcelona and its museum. The complex comprises:

  • a mini stadium for sport-study students,
  • the Macia, where young FC students live,
  • and the dark blue and red Palais, where field hockey, futsal, handball and basketball teams train.