Barcelona announce €600m Camp Nou renovation
Barcelona have announced they will submit plans to a referendum for a €600 million renovation of their famous Camp Nou stadium, which could see its capacity boosted to 105,000.
The Blaugrana initially considered building a brand new stadium at a site near the Avenida Diagonal - one of the main financial and commercial areas of the city.
But a projected cost of €1.2 billion was deemed too expensive by the club's hierarchy, with officials fearful of the Catalans' long-term financial security had those plans gone ahead.
Instead, the reigning Liga champions will spend half that sum on rebuilding the stadium on its existing site, with a retractable roof set to be installed in a spectacular makeover.
"This was a difficult decision, both options were very attractive but we decided to go ahead and stay at Les Corts," said Barca president Sandro Rosell after a board meeting on Monday.
"The Camp Nou is part of our collective memory. It is the largest stadium in Europe and is an icon of the city of Barcelona.
"The option of building a new stadium on a new site has been dismissed as the final cost could well mortgage the club."
Construction work is set to be undertaken between May 2017 and February 2021, with plans also including a new Palau Blaugrana and an Espai Barca.
The referendum will take place on the weekend of April 5/6 - the same weekend Barcelona host Betis at Camp Nou.
The Blaugrana have decided against building a new stadium and will instead modernise their iconic arena on its existing site