By the early 1950s, Barcelona had outgrown its old stadium, Camp de Les Corts which had held 60,000 supporters. The Camp Nou, built between 1954 and 1957, was designed by architects Francesc Mitjans-Miró, Lorenzo García Barbon, and Josep Soteras Mauri. FC Barcelona won their first game at Camp Nou in impressive fashion, a 4–2 victory against Legia Warsaw, with Eulogio Martínez scoring the first goal at the new stadium. Over 90,000 fans were present at this momentous occasion.
The stadium capacity has varied, opening at 106,146, but growing to 121,749 for the 1982 FIFA World Cup. With the outlawing of standing sections at the stadium in the late 1990s, its capacity settled to just below 99,000.
The facilities include a memorabilia shop, mini pitches for training matches, and a chapel for players. The stadium also houses the most visited museum in Catalonia, El Museu del Barça, which receives about 1,200,000 visits a year. The museum was inaugurated in 1984 under the presidency of Josep Lluís Nuñez. The museum shows 1,420 pieces of Barça’s history, of which 420 are trophies. The inauguration ceremony of the 1982 World Cup was held on 13 June. In front of a 100,000-strong crowd, Belgium beat Argentina 1–0.
The Camp Nou also hosted musical performances and other non-football events. Artists who have performed at the stadium include:
- Pink Floyd
- Michael Jackson
- Bruce Springsteen
- Frank Sinatra
- Julio Iglesias
- Sting, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Youssou N’Dour, Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel and El Último de la Fila at the Amnesty International‘s Concert for Human Rights
- The Three Tenors: José Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti
- José Carreras
- Montserrat Caballé
- Lluís Llach
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the stadium, the club issued an international tender to re-model the stadium. The objective was to turn the stadium into an integrated and highly visible urban environment. The club seeks to increase the seating capacity by 13,500 seats, making it the world’s largest football stadium. The plan must accommodate a minimum of 50% of seats to be under cover.
On 18 September 2007, British architect Norman Foster and his company were selected to “restructure” the Camp Nou. The plans include an extra 10,000 seats to be added and the estimated cost is €250 million.
Recent and historical significant matches
- 1964: Real Zaragoza 2–1 Valencia (final, Inter-Cities Fairs Cup)
- 1972: Rangers 3–2 Dynamo Moscow (final, European Cup Winners’ Cup)
- 1982: Barcelona 2–1 Standard Liège (final, European Cup Winners’ Cup)
- 1982: Belgium 1–0 Argentina (opening match, 1982 World Cup)
- 1989: Milan 4–0 Steaua Bucureşti (final, European Cup)
- 1992: Spain 3–2 Poland (final, 1992 Olympics)
- 1999: Manchester United 2–1 Bayern Munich (final, Champions League)