Before the inauguration ceremony took place preceding Barça´s 3-2 win against Real Sociedad, the club´s American visitors met with the Gastronomic Penya of FCB to share typical regional dishes and watch the first-team´s Champions League first-leg quarter-final tie against Juventus. Despite the result, the evening was a great success, with a coming together of shared values, cultures and a love of FC Barcelona from different sides of the world!
As well as watching games at the Penya´s home of Smithfield Hall in Manhattan, sometimes as early as six in the morning(!), the Penya is dedicated to promoting FC Barcelona´s social values through community aid projects in New York City. Over the last two years, the Penya has officially become a Non-Profit organisation and coordinated eight different events with charitable organizations for the benefit of young people living in disadvantaged areas in the city, in addition to many other projects and social programmes.
The recent growth of the NYC Penya from around 35 members just four years ago to a staggering 450 members as of this season demonstrates the incredible support that can be found for FC Barcelona not just in New York City, but throughout the United States. The club´s upcoming tour of the country will take in games against Juventus, Real Madrid and Manchester United and give many more fans state-side the opportunity to see Barça in the flesh! The Penya members who travelled from New York got a sneak preview of what to expect against Real Sociedad, but not before witnessing the inauguration and unveiling outside the Camp Nou of their official plaque.
It has long been a tradition that FC Barcelona Penyas from around the world are recognised with a plaque outside the stadium. Observed by those members who travelled from the USA, the unveiling was a momentous occasion. As fans arrived pre-game, many watched the celebrations unfold as the Penya chanted and posed for pictures outside the stadium. We hope it won´t be long before they return, and in the meantime, on the wall of the Camp Nou, sits a unique part of history from New York City, a symbol of Barça´s dedicated fans around the globe.