Camp Nou, or Nou Camp is a football stadium located in Barcelona, Spain. It has been the home stadium of Spanish football giants FC Barcelona ever since its construction was completed.
The stadium has a staggering seating capacity of 99,354, making it the largest stadium in entire Spain and by extension Europe. It is also the second largest association football stadium in the world.
The stadium has always been a significant part of the city and has always served as a symbol of the city’s football team’s strength. Initially, the stadium was called Estadi del FC Barcelona, but soon after, the more popular name ‘Camp Nou’ was used.
The construction of Camp Nou was started in 1954 and it took three years for it to complete. This coveted stadium was officially opened on September 24, 1957 and also hosted i’s first match on the same day. The match was played between FC Barcelona and a few players from the city of Warsaw.
The stadium’s construction had started because there was absolutely no expansion in Barcelona’s previous stadium, Camp de Les Corts. It could only support 60,000 spectators. Although the number is quite big, it was not enough for the growing support of the club and thus there was a need for a new stadium.
The stadium initially could hold 93,000 spectators. For the 1982 World Cup, a new third tier was added, which raised the capacity to 120,000. In the early 1990s, many of the standing areas of the stadium were converted into seating areas and by the end of 1990s, the capacity of the stadium was reduced to just below 100,000.
The first major match hosted by this stadium was in 1972. It was a European Cup Winners’ Cup final between Rangers and Dynamo Moscow.
Camp Nou was the most extensively used stadium in Spain for the 1982 FIFA World Cup.
During the Barcelona vs Juventus match in the 1986 European Cup, the stadium recorded its record attendance at a 120,000 spectators. Only 1,401 seats were vacant that day.
There have been a lot of controversies over the years that took place in Camp Nou. One of the most significant events took place in 2017 when Barcelona prevented the entry of fans into the stadium as a protest against the Government on the Catalonia issue.