FC Barcelona to undergo $1.6 Billion stadium renovation
By: Kaitlin Dandini
March 27, 2023
Photo Credit: Associated Press
In early 2023, Spanish soccer team FC Barcelona announced their plans to renovate their stadium, Camp Nou. The stadium has Europe's largest seating capacity at 99,354, and has been Barcelona’s home field since 1957.
In 2021, FC Barcelona was forced to release their star, Lionel Messi, due to a reported $1.96 billion of piling debt within the organization. Since then, the team has been working to pay off this debt, with the biggest aid coming from a $306 million sponsorship deal with Spotify as the long term sponsor of Camp Nou starting in March of 2022. After this deal, the club announced plans to renovate the stadium from 2023 to 2026, adding improvements to amenities such as lighting, hospitality areas, press and dressing rooms and will add new training facilities and more than 5,500 seats. These renovations come with a projected cost of $1.6 billion, according to Forbes.
Beginning in Jan. 2023, the club has been finalizing an agreement with financial service firm Goldman Sachs worth $961 million to help pay off their debt and fund the Camp Nou renovations. The deal is between Goldman Sachs and All Sports Finance, a capital solutions provider, that will give these two companies 30% of Barcelona’s broadcast revenues and a portion of Camp Nou’s future revenues. If this deal goes through, it will be the largest investment in the history of the club, and will require Barcelona to pay back $1.5 billion over the course of 35 years, according to Front Office Sports.
However, this week it was reported that Barcelona has halted their plans to finalize the agreement with Goldman Sachs. The pause in the stadium construction plans are reportedly due to increase in United States borrowing costs, which are causing the club to reconsider their options for funding the renovation.
Only time will tell if Barcelona will close on this historical deal or if they will seek an alternative funding plan. But with the proposed construction date looming in the near future and debt continuing to grow, Barcelona will need to act fast if they want to be able to follow through with their plans.