FC Barcelona Puts Financing Options On Hold For €1.5 Billion Stadium Revamp

High inflation figures in the US are having an impact on borrowing costs, and the impacts are being felt across the global economy and as far afield as in the Spanish city of Barcelona, where FC Barcelona are believed to be reconsidering financing options for their remodelling of the Spotify Camp Nou stadium.

The project, called ‘Espai Barça’ to reflect the renovation of the stadium and surrounding area, is forecast to be complete by the end of 2025 but there are now reports that financing is being put on hold and reconsidered.

The Financial Times cite three sources “with knowledge of the plans” and say that the club have paused financing planning and are considering their options, despite insisting that they are on track to meet the expected end of March deadline to confirm financing.

It comes after Kroll Bond Rating Agency lowered the planned private placement’s preliminary rating from triple B plus to triple B as the planned financing was restructured to come across five payments rather than three.

Goldman Sachs are the club’s long-term partner for financing on the project, while JP Morgan and Key Capital have also been involved.

Laporta relaxed

In his most recent public statement about the project, Barcelona president Joan Laporta insisted that everything was going according to plan. “Everything is under control, we have now awarded the works and we have set ourselves the target of closing the financing on March 31st,” he said.

“We have considered everything, but the Espai Barça is part of the club’s viability process,” he added. “It is 10 years overdue. Barça will have a first class stadium, with the capacity to generate more income.”

Stadium move planned

In December, works started at the Estadio Olímpico Lluís Companys, better known as the 1992 Olympic Stadium on Montjuïc, to prepare the arena to host Barcelona’s soccer games temporarily for the 2024/25 season while building work is completed at Camp Nou.

The stadium has an official capacity of 55,926, but has most recently been used for concerts and music events, with Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay and Beyoncé among the acts set to visit in 2023.

The works on the location are reported to include improvements to accesses and entrances, including lighting, as well as upgrading hospitality, press and dressing room areas to bring it up to FC Barcelona’s standards.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/samleveridge/2023/03/13/fc-barcelona-puts-financing-options-on-hold-for-15-billion-stadium-revampreports/