Turkish contractor to tackle Barcelona football stadium revamp
By Mike Hayes24 January 2023
The remodelling of the historic Camp Nou football stadium will be led by Limak Construction.
The football club announced that the Turkish building company would start work on what is now called the Spotify Camp Nou in June this year, with a return to football in the stadium by November 2024 (with 50% capacity) and full completion by June 2026.
The Camp Nou is already the largest football stadium in Europe, but the renovation work will increase the seating capacity from its current 99,350 to 105,000.
The stadium revamp is part of a wider project, known as Espai Barça (Barca space), which will include the Palau Blaugrana arena, set to hold 10,000 spectators, as well as a number of leisure and mixed-use areas and structures.
The total value of the Espai Barça project is reported to be around €1.5 billion.
In a press conference following the announcement of Limak’s appointment to the project, FC Barcelona’s vice president, Elena Fort, said “The members of the board of directors who attended the meeting unanimously approved the company to carry out the remodelling work on Spotify Camp Nou.
“We want the Spotify Camp Nou to be built in the shortest possible time at the best price; two things that this company can do.”
Speaking about the financing of the project, Fort said the contract “will go out on the financial markets. So, the market has to finance us. In other words, it must have a guaranteed maximum price.”
She said Limak had guaranteed a maximum price for the project that “can never be exceeded, but which can be lowered”.
Fort also highlighted Limak’s technical abilities, saying the bid from a company that “built the best airport in the world, that of Istanbul, is a bid that technically guarantees we will stick to our deadlines and guarantees that it can be financed in these markets.”
Laura Mas, a lawyer for FC Barcelona and a member of the project’s compliance team, said an important aspect of the tender process had been the involvement of Goldman Sachs, which had taken part in the evaluation of all of the companies that presented bids for the project.
Since the announcement, a report in the newspaper El Confidencial has been published, claiming the club’s president, Joan Laporta, broke the Barca rules to award the project to Limak.
If this is the case, said the report, the club will find it “difficult to obtain the building licence from Barcelona City Council for a key piece of infrastructure for the city.”
FC Barcelona has responed to the article, strongly denying its claims.