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Saturday, May 18, 2024

FC Barcelona Votes for $1.69B Stadium Revamp

  • Despite major financial ailments, FC Barcelona will spend big on a new stadium.
  • Voting members authorized a $1.69 billion stadium renovation plan.
FC-Barcelona-President-Members
FC Barcelona/Design: Alex Brooks

Despite major financial ailments, FC Barcelona will spend big on a new stadium.

Members voted to renovate the 64-year-old Camp Nou with up to $1.69 billion in funding, the club announced Sunday.

  • 87.8% of Barcelona’s 48,623 members voted in favor of the project, called “Espai Barça.”
  • The renovations will be funded by Goldman Sachs over a 25-year plan with a five-year grace period.

The plan will not only revamp the largest stadium in Europe, which already holds 105,000 fans, but also an indoor facility.

Financial Distress

The club claims the refurbishments will generate $225.7 million a year through hospitality, VIP boxes, catering, sponsorship and naming rights, and ticketing, as well as meetings and events. 

But the profits can’t come soon enough. In March, Barcelona was technically bankrupt, according to a Deloitte report. The team then borrowed $605 million from Goldman Sachs and was eyeing a sale of a stake in its production company, Barça Studios.

In October, the club’s debt totaled $1.57 billion — almost the same amount it just authorized for Espai Barça.

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