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It's been fifty years. Palau Blaugrana was inaugurated on October 23 1971, and precisely 50 years later, FC Barcelona commemorated the event with a touching ceremony today that began in the Palau itself before concluding in Auditori 1899. This Saturday's event marked the start of a year of activities during which the Club will honour the teams, sportspeople, and professionals that have made the Palau a sporting icon and asset for FC Barcelona.
The commemorative act was attended by many sporting and institutional representatives, led by president Joan Laporta and several members of the Board of Directors. During his speech, Laporta stated that "the Palau has always been there for us" and that "Barça is the world's best Club-based sporting complex". He also reminded about the 43 European trophies in the Club's cabinets, 37 of which were won by teams from Palau Blaugrana.
Our big challenge is to ensure the new Palau has the same magic as the old Palau“ Joan Laporta
He also looked towards the future: "It is undeniable that the Palau is no longer the hall that was the very representation of modernity in 1971, with it's awe-inspiring dome... Our big challenge is to ensure the new Palau has the same magic as the old Palau. This Palau is coming to an end, that's part of life, and it's time to pay our respects this year. I invite you all to visit the Palau now the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted".
Also in attendance were relatives of Agustí Montal - the president who inaugurated the Palau in 1971 -, relatives of the architects, Francesc Cavaller and Josep Soteras - the building's designer -, representatives from the professional sports teams from 1971, the inaugural year, representatives from the current teams, the professional sports teams managers, some of the sportspeople whose jersey has been retired to the Palau, along with Club institutional representatives, sponsors, and sporting commission members.
This included basketball icons such as Juan Carlos Navarro, Nacho Solozábal, Juan Antonio San Epifanio and Aíto García Reneses; handball icons such as Enric Masip, Francesc López Balcells, Xavier O'Callaghan and Víctor Tomás; futsal icons such as Jordi Torras and Paco Sedano; roller hockey icons such as Gaby Cairo, 'Beto' Borregán and Aitor Egurrola, along with many others...
Many of them spoke at the event, recalling some of their experiences in the Palau, evoking memories of the magic from a venue with pride of place in the Club's history.
Commemorative plaque and group photo
The guests visited Palau Blaugrana prior to the ceremony in the Auditori for the unveiling of a commemorative plaque in the foyer to celebrate the venue's fifty years, before a group photo was taken of all the guests on the hall floor.
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