Camp Nou is a soccer stadium in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain that has been the home of FC Barcelona since its opening in 1957. Camp Nou seats 99,354, making it the largest stadium in Europe and the eleventh largest in the world in terms of capacity. The city needed a new stadium to accomodate growing fan interest, but Barcelona's previous stadium, Camp de Les Corts, had no room for expansion. Construction of Camp Nou began on March 28, 1954. Designed by architects Francesc Mitjans, Josep Soteras Mauri and Lorenzo García-Barbón, the stadium officially opened on September 24, 1957. Camp Nou's seating capacity has varied greatly over the years, opening at 106,146, but growing to 121,749 for the 1982 FIFA World Cup.
In the decades following the stadium’s opening, a number of changes have been made. In 1975, Electronic scoreboards were installed in the stadium. In anticipation of the 1982 FIFA World Cup, the stadium underwent a large expansion which added boxes, VIP lounges, a new press area, new markers and the enlargement of the third tier by 22,150 seats for a total capacity of 115,000 spectators. Camp Nou was one of several stadiums used throughout the 1982 World Cup, hosting the inauguration ceremony on June 13, 1982.
Additional changes to the structure occurred during the 1990’s. In preparation for hosting several games during the 1992 Summer Olympics, two additional tiers of seating were installed over the previous roof-line. Significant work was completed during 1993 and 1994, including lowering the field by 8 feet, removing the security gap that separated the lawn from the stands, and eliminating some standing room in favor of individual seating. For the 1998-1999 season, a new press box was added, the presidential grandstand and boxes were renovated, new parking was built under the main grandstand, and new lighting and sound systems were completed. In 1999, the Union of European Football Associations outlawed standing sections in stadiums, and after renovations Camp Nou’s capacity settled to its current level.
Stadium facilities now include a memorabilia shop, fields for training matches, and a chapel for the players. The stadium also houses the FC Barcelona Museum, which receives more than 1.2 million visitors per year.
To learn about other interesting civil engineering projects, visit the People and Projects section of the ASCE website.