The Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys is a sports and athletics stadium located in the Anella Olimpica, in Montjuic at Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
It has a capacity of 55,926 and is remembered as the stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona were held, holding a special place in the heart of many Catalonians.
It was called the Estadi Olimpic de Montjuic until 2001, when it was renamed as the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in remembrance of the former President of the Government of Catalonia, who was executed by firing squad at the nearby Montjuic Castle in 1940 by the Franco regime.
It was awarded a five-star rating by UEFA in 1998, making it eligible to host finals matches in international football competitions. The stadium has been used for multiple sports such as association football and American football, athletic meets and motor tournaments.
The stadium was the home ground of RCD Espanyol in the La Liga between 1997 and 2009, after which they moved to their new stadium Estadi Cornella-El Prat. It was also the home ground of the former American football team Barcelona Dragons until 2003, when they were disbanded.
The Estadi Olimpic de Montjuic was built in 1927 as part of the Barcelona city’s preparations to host the 1929 Universal Exposition. It was formally opened on 20th May 1929 and the first match was played between the Catalan XI team and Bolton Wanderers of England.
The stadium was largely unused during the 60s and the 70s, as many safety concerns were raised. The stadium underwent a painstaking refurbishment ahead of the 1992 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Barcelona.
The stadium was brought in par with the modern stadiums of that time as the stands were made from scratch and the capacity was increased. It was inaugurated again after refurbishment in 1989 for the World Cup in Athletics.
It hosted Spain’s first ever official rugby international game against Italy in 1929, which the Spaniards won 9-0. It also hosted the Mediterranean Games in 1955, and was its centrepiece.
It has hosted nine Copa del Rey finals, and in 1957, it held the only Copa del Rey between the two local clubs, RCD Espanyol and FC Barcelona, after which its usage became very limited.
In 1970s the stadium was used as a paddock for the teams participating in the Spanish Grand Prix, which were held at the Montjuic racing circuit. In the 1975 edition, the F1 race was almost boycotted by the drivers because of safety concerns.