BARCELONA TO STAY AT THE NOU CAMP

Barcelona look set to push ahead with modernising their existing Nou Camp home, after their board of directors rejected the option of building a new stadium.

Members of the Catalan club, or socios, will vote at the beginning of April on whether to reform and expand the ground in a €600 million project.

If approved, the work could begin in 2017 and be completed by early 2021 with matches still being played during that time.

The redevelopment of the La Liga club’s home since 1957 would see Europe’s biggest stadium increase its capacity from 98,000 to 105,000.

Other additions would see the construction of a new indoor basketball arena, installation of a striking new roof, the steepening the bottom tier to improve visibility for spectators, the introduction of new restaurants and so-called “super-boxes”, plus other VIP services.

Bank loans worth €200m would finance part of the project, with around €150m arriving from naming rights, as a ‘surname’ to the current Nou Camp title. The remaining €250m would be covered by existing funds.

Club president Sandro Rossell said: “The Nou Camp is part of our collective memory and an icon of the city of Barcelona.

“The option of building a new stadium on a new site has been rejected as the final cost could have saddled the club and its members with debt.

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