Two weeks to fill the Camp Nou

BarcelonaActivity at the Camp Nou offices will be frantic during the day and for at least two more weeks. The Generalitat’s decision to allow 100% of the capacity in all Catalan stadiums allows Barça, like the rest of the clubs, to return to maximum normalcy in the matches they play at home. However, the news, although expected, does not guarantee at all that the field will look like before the pandemic. And this is precisely the goal of the entity in the face of the three important games it has, in a row, as a local: this Sunday it receives a visit from Valencia, on Wednesday the carobs are played in the Champions League against Dinamo Kiev and on Sunday next the classic one is disputed against Real Madrid. The dream is that on the visit of the whites the stadium will approach 100,000 occupied seats.

It will not be an easy job and Barça are fully aware of it, at least in the first game of the series, against Valencia. It will be necessary to work against the clock to have all the logistics ready, including the staff – security and services such as catering – who work on match days. Fifteen days ago, when the Spanish government had authorized 100% of the capacity in the stadiums but the Procicat maintained the top of 60%, the club activated the protocol it launched since the Camp Nou had been partially reopened because subscribers could request tickets for the match with the xe. A procedure that expired yesterday afternoon, since, as the entity explained at the beginning of the course, once normality was restored, those members who kept their seats would already be guaranteed entry without having to notify in advance. At the same time, this end of capacity restrictions meant that the Free Seat had to be reactivated, the mechanism that allows subscribers who, for whatever reason, cannot go to a match, to leave their place free because the club sells it. Of the money raised, one part was left to Barça and the other is deducted from the season ticket for the following season. And, in a third way, increase the supply of seats for fans in general.

Tickets on sale

For now, and despite the fact that there are already tickets on sale for the matches against Valencia – with prices between 49 and 199 euros -, Dinamo Kiev – between 59 and 199 euros – and Real Madrid – between 109 and 219 – , the club has not detailed how it will proceed with subscribers, information that is expected to arrive during today or, at the latest, on Thursday. For now, the organization sent a message through social media “thanking the effort of all the people and applauding the decision of the Government to implement a measure that is close to normal.”

The Camp Nou is close to 100,000 seats and, of these, some 83,500 are already reserved for subscribers. However, the figure is lower this season, as 26,238 members – according to Catalunya Ràdio – had taken advantage of the leave offered by Barça as an exceptional measure during the pandemic. Therefore, only about 57,000 Catalans retain their seats – precisely this week they have begun to receive the card to access the venue. Or, what is the same, there are at least 42,000 seats for sale, to which should be added those released by fans. Therefore, filling the stadium is a major challenge. And more so compared to what happened in previous seasons. Although the club already hinted that they could have a 100% capacity for the classic, sources from the entity admit that it will be difficult to sell all the tickets, because they have been able to work with little foresight and because tourists, who usually bought some of the towns –especially the most expensive ones– have not yet returned en masse to Catalonia.

Little demand

The team’s poor start to the season and doubts about the coach, added to the fear still generated by the pandemic among much of the population, have meant that the social masses have not responded in the first games at the stadium. . Although initially the percentage of the public was very low – 30% in the debut in the League against Real Sociedad – it has not been necessary to draw in any match. In the noble zone, however, they are confident that the situation will improve as the season progresses. Some money, which will come through the ticketing, which will allow to begin to dry the millionaire losses that the entity had had in the last two years, caused mainly because with the games behind closed doors virtually all the income from the stadium had disappeared: in recent years they had bordered 300 million, but in the 2020/21 season only 25 were generated.

With the total reopening of the Camp Nou, the restaurant service and tickets will also be activated at full capacity vip, alternative ways to generate income. However, the Players Experience, the exclusive tickets behind the benches with catering included, is currently not available. In a pre-covid classic, Barça could raise around 6 million euros. We’ll see what the box office is next Sunday.


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