Club: FC Barcelona | Opening: 1957 | Capacity: 99,354 seats
History and description
Camp Nou was built between 1954 and 1957, and officially opened on the 24th of September 1957 with a match between FC Barcelona and a selection of players from the city of Warsaw.
The stadium replaced Barcelona’s previous ground Camp de les Corts, which, though it could hold 60,000 supporters, was still too small for the growing support of the club.
Camp Nou initially consisted of two tiers that could hold 93,000 spectators. It was first called Estadi del FC Barcelona, but got soon referred to as Camp Nou.
The stadium was, together with Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, playing venue of the Euro 1964 Championships. It hosted the semi-final between the Soviet Union and Denmark (3-0), and the match for third place between Hungary and the same Denmark (3-1).
The stadium hosted two Cup Winners’ Cup finals in the following decades, the first in 1972 between Glasgow Rangers and Dynamo Moscow (3-2), and the second in 1982 between Barcelona and Standard de Liège (2-1).
Camp Nou got expanded with a third tier for the 1982 World Cup, which raised capacity to 120,000 places. During the World Cup, it hosted the opening match between Belgium and Argentina (1-0), three matches in the second group stage, and the semi-final between Italy and Poland (2-0).
In 1989, Camp Nou hosted the European Cup final between AC Milan and FC Steaua (4-0), which was followed in 1999 by the Champions League final between Manchester United and FC Bayern (2-1).
In the early 1990s, Barcelona started converting various standing areas into seating, which reduced capacity, though additional seats were created by lowering the pitch.
Until the late 1990s, Camp Nou still had some standing areas at the top of the third tier, but these were finally eliminated, reducing capacity to just below 100,000.
In contrast to the Bernabéu, Camp Nou has changed relatively little since its inauguration and lacks many of the modern facilities common in most stadiums these days. For the last decade, Barcelona have therefore been investigating either redeveloping Camp Nou, or even building a completely new stadium.
In the mid 2000s, the club presented plans for a renovated Camp Nou, designed by Norman Foster, but a lack of funding prevented realisation. The club next started studying a move to a new stadium, but finally decided in 2014 to redevelop the current stadium.
The redevelopment will entail the reconstruction of the first tier resulting in a steeper tier with better views, the extension of the top tier over the whole of the stadium, the construction of a roof to cover all seats, and expansions and improvements to the interior of the stadium aimed at providing better facilities. The resulting capacity will be slightly higher at a little over 105,000 seats. Works are planned to start in 2017 and gradually performed over four seasons to finish in 2021.