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Barcelona FC target global dominance with €600m Espai Barça sports district

By Kim Megson    02 Mar 2016
The New Palau Blaugrana will have a 10,000-seat arena, an auxiliary court for 2,000 spectators, an ice rink and a football academy / FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona has unveiled new information about its ambitious plans to create “the most important sports project in Europe and the world.”

The club has revealed details of the financing, design and long-term vision for its €600m (US$651.9m, £467.4m) Espai Barça sports district ahead of a major announcement, expected this month, on the architecture team who will redevelop the Nou Camp into a “state-of-the-art, 105,000-capacity stadium that will be one of the very best in the world.”

The Espai Barça district will include the new-look Nou Camp alongside a 6,000-capacity UEFA category III Miniestadi for its youth teams – designed by Batlle i Roig Arquitectes. There will also be the New Palau Blaugrana – a multi-sports and concert arena created by US sports architects HOK and Spanish practice TAC Arquitectes.

In addition, new administrative buildings will be constructed, existing facilities will be reorganised and the club’s museum and shop will be expanded.

“The project will generate new opportunities for the our social and economic development, increase revenue and the value of the club’s assets, boost sponsorship, improve conditions for our athletes, recover architectural excellence, achieve environmental sustainability and create venues for a 21st century Barça,” said the club. “It reflects a trend shaping sports districts across the globe as they aim to generate activity 365 days a year.

“This is every Barça fan’s dream, one that will become a reality and a legacy to be enjoyed by future generations.”

The club added that funding will be generated for these projects “without affecting the club’s sports or its members.” It said that €200m (US$217.3m, £155.8m) will be raised in exchange for adding a name to the stadium and it will also receive a syndicated loan.

A recent report by professional services firm Deloitte revealed Barcelona is the second richest club in Europe, with 2014/15 revenues of €560.8m (US$609.3m £426.6m). Arch rivals Real Madrid – who are attempting to develop their own facilities – topped the list.

New Palau Blaugrana

Meanwhile, in a presentation on 1 March, new images and a video were revealed for the New Palau Blaugrana, following the recent announcement that HOK had won the architecture competition to design the facility.

The highly flexible complex will comprise three areas that can operate independently: a 10,000-seat arena, an auxiliary court for 2,000 spectators, an ice rink with room for 800 spectators and a campus for the club’s football academy, FCB Escola.

The main sports hall, sat within a large bowl, will meet the requirements of basketball's Euroleague and will host matches for Barcelona FC’s basketball offshoot, FC Barcelona Lassa, from the 2019-2020 basketball season. A large LED screen on the lower portion of the stadium's rooftop will screen footage from games.

The court will feature 18 VIP boxes, two ‘skybars’ and configurable seating – all of which will allow the venue to host cultural events such as concerts.

“This site has tremendous potential,” added Daniel Hajjar, managing principal for HOK’s London office. “We look forward to working with the Barcelona City Council, the Barça technical teams, the residents of Barcelona and TAC Arquitectes to further develop and integrate our concept with the rest of the Espai Barça project and the city centre.”

US sports architects HOK and Spanish practice TAC Arquitectes have designed the New Palau Blaugrana / FC Barcelona
The asymetrical bowl-shaped complex will display sports footage on a rooftop LED screen / FC Barcelona
The stadium will host games for the club's basketball offshoot / FC Barcelona
The main court has a capacity of 10,000 spectators / FC Barcelona
Work will be completed in time for the 2019/2020 basketball season / FC Barcelona
The venue can also be configured to host concerts / FC Barcelona
The New Palau Blaugrana is part of a much-wider sports district planned to propel the club to global dominence / FC Barcelona
Barcelona FC  Espai Barça  Parc Blaugrana   Barcelona  La Liga  architecture  design  Nou Camp  
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