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The Camp Nou has been the FC Barcelona stadium since 24th of September 1957, the date of its inauguration
It was still not big enough to cope with the surging interest in the team though, especially after the arrival of Hungarian superstar Ladislau Kubala and the new Barça stadium was built to replace it.
The stadium was designed by architects Francesc Mitjans Miró and Josep Soteras Mauri, with the collaboration of Lorenzo García Barbón, and it was constructed between 1955 and 1957, using mainly concrete and iron. The whole project cost a staggering 288 million pesetas, which meant the club would spend the following years in heavy debt.
Although it was originally going to go under the official name of ‘Estadi del FC Barcelona’, it soon came to be popularly known as the 'Camp Nou' (the ‘new ground’), as opposed to the club’s old home at Les Corts. It was not until the 2000/2001 season that, following a mail vote made by the club membership, that the decision was made to make ‘Camp Nou’ the official name of the stadium. Of the 29,102 votes the club received, a total of 19,861 (68.25%) preferred Camp Nou to Estadi del FC Barcelona.
The stadium’s maximum height is 48 metres, and it covers a surface area of 55,000 square metres (250 metres long and 220 metres wide). In accordance with UEFA stipulations, the playing area has been downsized to 105 metres x 68 metres.
With a capacity of 99,354, it is now the biggest stadium in Europe. However, the total capacity has varied over the years owing to different modifications. When it was first opened in 1957, it held 93,053 spectators, which would be increased to 120,000 in 1982 on occasion of the FIFA World Cup. However, the introduction of new regulations outlawing standing areas reduced the stadium’s capacity in the late 1990s to just under 99,000.
In the 1998-99 season, UEFA recognised the services and functionalities of the Camp Nou by awarding it five star status. In the whole of Spain there are only four other stadiums that can claim that, the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium, also in Barcelona, the new Cartuja Olympic Stadium in Seville, the Vicente Calderón, home of Atlético Madrid, and the Santiago Bernabeu, also in Madrid.
Of the different facilities on offer inside the stadium, of particular note are a chapel next to the changing rooms, the presidential box, the VIPs lounge, the press rooms, several television studios, the Sports Medicine Centre, the Operative Control Unit (UCO), the veteran players area, the FC Barcelona club museum, and the offices of all of the many different club departments.
The price includes the ticket for the Museum, visit the Camp Nou, and the Multimedia area
When it was inaugurated, the Camp Nou had the capacity for 93,053 spectators and the pitch measured 107x72 metres
It is now slightly smaller, 105x68 to be precise, in accordance with UEFA stipulations. The main materials used in constructing the stands were concrete and iron.
The stadium has undergone several renovations and improvements since 1957. The most important include the unveiling of the floodlighting system in 1959, as well as the addition of the grandstand electronic scoreboard and the press room. But other than these specific changes, the biggest upheaval was the extension work of 1982, when the stadium was enlarged for the staging of the World Cup opening ceremony. The addition of a third tier raised the capacity by 22,150.
Other improvements have been made since the 1982 extension, such as the remodelling of the lowest tier in 1994, which involved lowering the level of the pitch. Several other projects have led to the stadium being awarded five stars, with such facilities as a Museum, Documentation Centre, Barça TV Studio and the Sports Medicine Centre.
Venue for major events
Apart from being the stage for all of FC Barcelona’s home matches, the Camp Nou has also witnessed several major international finals, including Cup Winners Cup and Champions League finals, and the football final of the 1992 Olympic Games. But it has not only been used for sports, but also several other major international events, such as concerts given by such singers as Lluís Llach, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Josep Carreras, Julio Iglesias and groups like U2; acts of solidarity such as one for Amnesty International, and the visit of Pope John Paul II on November 7, 1982.
And the Camp Nou has also been used for events that have marked the history of the club itself, such as the 75th anniversary celebrations on November 27, 1974, when the club anthem 'Cant del Barça' was performed for the very first time, and the many events involved in the 1999 centenary celebrations, including the opening ceremony at which Joan Manuel Serrat sung the club anthem, or the final game, in which Barça played the Brazilian national side, and when all of the club’s former players paraded on the Camp Nou turf.
The Camp Nou FCBotiga Megastore has been completely refurbished to offer some great new services to the more than 2 million people who pass through its doors every year
Two of the innovations are the luminous shelves in the Club's colours and the recorded sounds of the Camp Nou that you hear as you enter the store.
And one of the latest additions is a section dedicated to the basketball, handball, roller hockey and futsal sections, where you can purchase shirts and other related items connected with these sports.
The football kit worn by the first team - including their training gear - is grouped by type of product and there is an improved line of street wear displayed in its own area.
The FCBotiga has a surface area of 1,500m2 divided into two floors. You can find everything here from scarves, caps, signed footballs, sweatshirts and hats for our younger fans, mugs, soft toys, household items...
What's new in the FCBotiga Megastore?
Fans can now buy a T-shirt and have it customized to remind them of some of the Club's most memorable moments. You can also choose from a wide range of football boots suitable for every kind of surface and have them personalized with your name and membership number.
Shop.fcbarcelona.com: 10% discount for members
The on-line store offers a 24-hour a day service, 365 days a year for Barca fans from all over the world. Delivery times are between 3 and 5 days to any part of the world. Transactions are 100% secure. Visit the Online store
Would you like to work with us?
We are constantly on the look out for young people interested in sports and a sales career, who’d like to join our team. We look for motivated candidates with experience and qualification in retail sales. If you are looking for this type of job, either full time or in combination with your studies, send your c.v. to: firstname.lastname@example.org or fax us at 93 490 6926 Reference: OTrabajo
You can tell a lot about the success or decadence of a sports club from the type of facilities it uses
In terms of FC Barcelona, the club’s history can be clearly be divided into three main stages.
In the early days, the club constantly switched between different grounds. In the second stage, the club was consolidated by finding a permanent home at Les Corts. And the third stage, and the construction of the Camp Nou, reflects the expansion and grandeur of the club on a global scale.
The old Les Corts ground, inaugurated in 1922, was remodelled several times in order to find room for Barça’s constantly growing fan base. After the Spanish Civil War, the club started attracting more and more members every year, which also meant a considerably larger number of spectators at matches. This increased support was the inspiration for several expansion projects, of the south goal (1946), the north goal (1950), and the grandstand’s capacity (1944). But it was becoming patently evident that what the club really needed to do was build a completely new stadium, and therefore the board of directors combined these improvements to Les Corts with plans to make the dream of a new stadium a reality.
The need for a new stadium
From 1948, people were more and more keen on the idea of building a completely new ground, but this was not an easy thing to do, and it was necessary to convince the local authorities that a new stadium would be able to fit in with the plans at the time to develop the upper area of the Diagonal.
It is often said that what finally convinced the board that there was no other option than the construction of a new ground was the arrival of the now legendary Ladislau Kubala, one of the finest players ever to appear for FC Barcelona. And although there can be no doubting that Kubala attracted more interest than ever in the team and meant the club’s spirits hit a new high, the decision to build was inspired just as much by the two League titles won in 1947-48 and 1948-49, which was before the great Hungarian had signed for the club.
In fact, the first solid step towards a new stadium came in September 1950, fifteen days before Kubala played his first friendly match wearing his new Barça colours. It was then that the president of the time, Agustí Montal y Galobart, signed an option to purchase a site in the area known as La Maternidad, an option that was to be taken up just two months later.
What followed was a turbulent period, as the Camp Nou commission decided on February 9, 1951 to change the location of the future stadium to the area at the top of the Diagonal, and this led to a series of sterile negotiations with the Authorities that did not seem to be getting anywhere. The matter seemed to have been shelved for good when Francesc Miró-Sans won the FC Barcelona presidential elections on November 14, 1953. The new president was a fervent supporter of the idea of building a new stadium as soon as possible and one of the first things he did after coming into office on February 18, 1954 was to locate the future stadium on the site purchased in 1950, rather than at the top end of the Diagonal. And so, on March 28, before a crowd of 60,000 Barça fans, the first stone of the future Camp Nou was laid in place under the presidency of civil governor Felipe Acedo Colunga and with the blessing of the Archbishop of Barcelona, Gregorio Modrego.
The construction (1954-1957)
The architects of the new stadium were Francesc Mitjans Miró, cousin of Miró-Sans, and Josep Soteras Mauri, with the collaboration of Lorenzo García Barbón. More than a year later, on July 11, 1955, the club commissioned the construction work to the INGAR SA company, who estimated the project at 66,620,000 pesetas, claiming it would take 18 months to complete. However, the stadium would eventually cost an awful lot more than the original estimate, eventually totalling around 288 million pesetas, an amount that would need to be covered by successive issues of mortgage obligations ((100 million pesetas) and short term bonds (60 million pesetas). This measure meant the construction of the stadium could be financed, but would leave the club in heavy debt for many years after.
The date on which the stadium was to be inaugurated was September 24, 1957. A special commission was organised whose task was to organise the kind of opening ceremony that the occasion warranted, with two people in charge of the operation: Aleix Buxeres (public relations) and Nicolau Casaus (organisation). In the Barcelona City Council’s Salón de las Crónicas, on Saturday September 21, José María de Cossío, a member of the Real Academia Española, solemnly declared the celebrations of the inauguration of the new stadium open. That same September weekend, a series of international matches were played at Les Corts and the Palacio Municipal de Deportes involving the club’s different sports teams. Those days will go down in club history, and were set to words by the great poet Josep M. de Sagarra in his sonnet titled 'Azul Grana', while an anthem was written in honour of the new FC Barcelona stadium, with Josep Badia putting the words to Adolf Cabané’s music.
On the day of the 1957 Mercè Festival, the city was decked out in the FC Barcelona colours. The celebrations continued with the holding of a solemn mass and the blessing of the stadium by the Archbishop of Barcelona, Gregorio Modrego. The Orfeón Graciense choir then performed Händel’s ‘Hallelujah’ while the image of the Virgin of Montserrat was exalted. The president’s box was packed with the most important personages of the sporting and political worlds of the period, including club president Francesc Miró-Sans; José Solís Ruiz, general secretary for Movement, which was the equivalent of the ministry of sport at the time; José Antonio Elola Olaso, head of the National Delegation of Sportspeople; Felipe Acedo, civil governor of Barcelona, and Josep M. de Porcioles, Mayor of Barcelona.
Although work on the stadium was not yet complete, more than 90,000 spectators were able to witness the event, which continued with representatives of all the major football clubs in Catalonia parading on the pitch, as well as members of the club’s other sports teams and the supporters clubs. The new Stadium Anthem was then performed and the first game to be played at the Camp Nou kicked off at half past four in the afternoon. FC Barcelona played a friendly against Polish side Warsaw. The first Barça line-up ever to appear at the Camp Nou featured: Ramallets, Olivella, Brugué, Segarra, Vergés, Gensana, Basora, Villaverde, Martínez, Kubala and Tejada. A different eleven took to the field in the second half: Ramallets, Segarra, Brugué, Gràcia, Flotados, Bosch, Hermes, Ribelles, Tejada, Sampedro and Evaristo. Barça won the match 4-2 with goals from Eulogio Martínez (whose 11th minute strike was the first goal ever at the Camp Nou), Tejada, Sampedro and Evaristo. At half time, 1,500 members of the Agrupación Cultural Folclórica de Barcelona danced a huge sardana and freed 10,000 doves. And so it was that a brand new period in the history of FC Barcelona had begun.
The Ricard Maxenchs pressroom at the Camp Nou is a large, modern space where the media can attend press conferences
The 225 square meter area is designed like an auditorium and is located right alongside the mixed zone and the dressing rooms. It has 135 seats that all have individual connections and direct audio sockets and are equipped with wireless technology (WiFi) that is restricted to the media. The pressroom also has two monitors and a projector for making presentations and is also equipped with a simultaneous translation system. Radio and television reporters also have an area reserved for them at the back of the room that is fully equipped for their different needs.
The Ricard Maxenchs pressroom at the Camp Nou is exceptionally comfortable and offers such a high standard of services that the media are able to get their work done in the very finest of conditions.