Barcelona set for Nou Camp development

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has announced the club will convert the current structure of the Nou Camp into a new 105,000-seater stadium after abandoning plans to relocate across the city.

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Rosell revealed on Monday night that thorough analysis had led the board to reject the option of building a completely new stadium on land adjacent to the Avinguda Diagonal in L'Hospitalet, claiming the cost of doing so could jeopardise the club's financial future.

Quoted on Barca's official website, Rosell told a press conference: "Today the Barcelona board has decided unanimously to consult potential partners on the plan to build a new stadium on the structure of the current Nou Camp.

"The board has decided to rule out the option of building a new stadium on the proposed land at Diagonal.

"It was a difficult decision, both projects were very attractive, but our commitment was to present a referendum with viable projects from a technical, urban and economical point of view."

Decisions concerning the preferred external and internal appearances of the remodelled Nou Camp, already the largest ground in Europe with a capacity of 99,354, will be made at a referendum to be held on either April 5 or 6.

The budget for the new project is 600 million euros (£496million) with construction work set to begin in May 2017 and conclude in February 2021.

"The original architectural project means our stadium, 56 years after its construction, can be the basis for our future project," Rosell added.

"The Nou Camp is part of our collective memory. It is the largest (stadium) in Europe and an icon of the city of Barcelona.

"The option to build a new stadium in a new location has been discarded since the final cost of the operation could jeopardise the club, its partners and tie the hands of future boards.

"The project we have chosen is acceptable."

The Palau Blaugrana, a 7,585-seater arena belonging to Barcelona, will also be rebuilt while the open space known as Espai Barca surrounding the Nou Camp will be redeveloped.

The Spanish champions published provisional images of the remodelled Nou Camp and Palau on their official website, also including a indication of how the land in the Les Corts suburb of the city will look following the changes.

Rosell added: "We'll have a new arena that keeps the spirit of our Palau but one that suits our current needs. The new Palau must strengthen our multi-faceted nature.

"It's very important to note that we are able to tackle this project due to the debt reduction we have achieved in recent years. We will continue to work towards this end.

"Everyone at Barcelona will tackle this project with the same commitment, knowing it will not be easy and that it will require effort from everybody.

"But we also know that it will ultimately improve our legacy and deliver joy to new generations of Barca fans. It will ensure that our history and legend continue to grow."



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