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The Espai Barça project can only become a reality this Sunday if the FC Barcelona members - of which there are 110,159 aged over 18 years old and with at least one year of membership and voting rights - vote in favour and support the operation valued up to the 1.5 billion euro required to pay for the Espai Barça works. The delegate members at the Assembly held on October 23 approved the Board of Directors' proposal by a majority (405 votes for, 21 against and 6 blanks). It's now the turn of the members to ratify the decision with the binding consultation that will take place on Sunday December 19 over a 12 hour voting period (9am to 9pm CET).
In line with the Club's democratic tradition and led by president Joan Laporta, the Board of Directors were aware that the green light from the Assembly was insufficient to authorise a financing operation of up to 1.5 billion euro, with the decision needing to be opened up to all members, the Club's legitimate owners, in order to assume this great responsibility together. With the aim of achieving as high a turnout as possible, and to provide every member an option to vote, the vote will take place digitally for the first time, without the traditional boxes. Barça will be pioneers in the world of sport on holding this Referendum and members should assume this responsibility by exercising their right - a privilege across the sporting world and unique to FC Barcelona.
A project that finances itself
As has been reported by the Club in recent weeks during an intensive information campaign, Espai Barça is an essential project in order to guarantee the Club's sporting competitiveness and economic viability. The project finances itself through the income it generates, and the operation will sustain the red lines that were approved during the 2014 referendum: the works will not cost members any money, the project will never jeopardise sport management, nor will the Club's assets ever be mortgaged as guarantees. The financing will enable up to 1.5 billion euro of investment into the comprehensive remodelling of Camp Nou, which will have a capacity of 105,000, a roof, and every possible technological and sustainability development; the construction of a new Palau Blaugrana with 15,000 seats; and the creation of Campus Barça that will bring planning and improvements to the enclosure, mobility, and safety during match days, while creating a better and more innovative space for sports and entertainment in the heart of a major city.
Improvements to the project
The new project includes improvements on the version approved in 2014, which was undervalued from a financial, social, and construction standpoint. As such, a new bottom tier stand will not be built, avoiding impacting and forcing 12,500 season ticket holders to move, with a third tier stand being built instead, which will make the construction project easier and make better use of financial resources. The current third tier stand also has deficiencies that jeopardised its viability in a project that would have likely lasted for decades. Furthermore, its irregular geometry also made building it in line with the rest of the stand's perimeter difficult.
Other improvements in the new project include a double ring for VIPs between the second and third tier stands to create space for more VIP boxes, which will also help obtain more income to finance Espai Barça. The roof has also been altered since the previous proposal, adding more elements with a view to sustainability, now one of the project's main priorities.
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