• La Liga

Barcelona to stay at Camp Nou

ESPN staff
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Barcelona will not be moving away from the Camp Nou © Getty Images
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Barcelona are to ask their socios to vote on April 5 or 6 on whether to reform and expand its existing Camp Nou ground, while naming rights could be sold to finance the €600 million project being planned, after they decided they will not build a new stadium.

In December, Barca vice-president for economic matters Javier Faus said club members would decide whether to remodel the Camp Nou, construct an entirely new home or move to property belonging to the University of Barcelona.

The University immediately threw that idea into doubt by saying the proposed site was not for sale - and the club are now set to look for permission from members to start work on an upgraded Camp Nou which would seat 105,000 spectators, cost €600m and be completed by 2021.

Club president Sandro Rosell told a news conference on Monday evening that the board had unanimously decided to just offer the one option to its socios in the vote - likely to be held on April 5 or 6, when Barcelona will host Real Betis in La Liga.

"Today the Barcelona board has unanimously decided to put the project of building a new stadium on top of the current Camp Nou structure to the club's socios," Rosell said. "The board has decided to discard the option of building a new stadium on the site which had been proposed on the 'Diagonal'. It has been a difficult decision.

"The two projects were very attractive. But our commitment was to present in a referendum two viable projects from technical, urbanist and economic points of view. After a deep analysis, advised by the best international experts, the board has decided that the best option is to continue at Les Corts."

The club released further details of what a re-modelled Camp Nou will look like - with extended executive facilities and other sports facilities on the site also being improved.

Faus said the club - €331m in debt according to its own accounts - was considering selling naming rights to finance the construction, while the new stadium would include an "Espai Barca" hotel/entertainment complex which could generate extra revenues.

"This €600m breaks down in four parts," Faus said. "We have rejected the idea of renaming the stadium, but not that it might have a brand as a 'surname'. No agreement has yet been made with any company. This 'title right' could give us some €150m over a period of between 20 and 25 years with the Camp Nou having a commercial surname."

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