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FIFA Turns FC Barcelona’s Stadium Into A Soccer Laboratory

by comsmedia

FC Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium is one of the most famous soccer arenas in the world. It has an official capacity just shy of 100,000 and has played host to some of the most dramatic moments in the sport’s history–most notably the 1999 UEFA Champions League final.

A full-scale renovation is due to begin in 2020 and be completed in 2024, bringing the iconic venue up to modern standards. But the club is also eager for the stadium to be the “largest sports experimentation and innovation laboratory in the world.”

In 2017, it launched the “Barca Innovation Hub,” an initiative that brings together academics, students, startups and investors. The aim is to advance FC Barcelona as a technology organization and to share innovations in the field of sports, health and the environment.

The hub forms part of the “More than a club” mantra at Barcelona, which is viewed as a symbol of Catalonian identity combined with a global brand.

“The club is owned by 150,000 members and this is key for us,” said Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu at the launch of the hub in 2017. “We are and we want to keep being more than a club. We had to generate a positive impact on society that goes beyond sport.”

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