Barcelona Said to Cancel $350 Million Stadium Redesign by Foster
Barcelona, the second-biggest soccer club by sales, will cancel a 250 million-euro ($350 million) stadium redesign by British architect Norman Foster as part of a plan to reduce spending, two people with knowledge of the situation said.
The club isn’t liable to pay any compensation, the people said. In 2007, Foster was named to redesign the 98,000-seat Camp Nou arena with a multicolored exterior influenced by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. The two people declined to be named because the decision hasn’t been made public.
Barcelona team president Sandro Rosell said before he joined the club July 1 that he wasn’t in favor of the redesign approved by his predecessor Joan Laporta and had intended to make the bowl-shaped arena more emblematic. The club may work with Foster on other projects.
The stadium also would have added 10,000 seats, making it the world’s second-biggest soccer ground after the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.
Carlos Sole, an associate partner at Foster’s office in Madrid, said by telephone it hasn’t been officially informed of the decision to cancel the plans. Last year, the project was shelved for 18 months.
Foster helped redesign Wembley Stadium, which has a 133- meter (436-feet) high steel arch visible across much of London.
Barcelona trails only Real Madrid in sales among soccer clubs, according to Deloitte LLP. Barcelona is cutting costs after Rosell’s board revised a 9 million-euro profit in the year to June 30 to a 77 million-euro loss.
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