Football stadiums, like anything else, do need renovations and improvements at times. Sometimes, these works can take a few months to complete. Other times, they can take a couple of years. It’s also the case that some teams will move to completely new stadiums. This puts them in a wonderful, novel setting, as well as the fans.
Whatever the case may be, the idea behind them is to create better experiences for the fans. The 2023-24 season of football will start in August and continue on until May of next year. What teams are set to have new grounds for this upcoming season?
Barcelona – Olympic Stadium
FC Barcelona is one of the most well-known clubs in Spain. It competes in La Liga, the top tier of Spanish football. It’s a long-running club as well, founded in 1899 by a group of multinational players. Barcelona started out playing its games at the Camp de la Indústria. This had a capacity of 6,000 people. Club officials deemed it inadequate as a stadium for Barcelona’s growing membership, though. By 1922, the team had amassed over 20,000 supporters. Lending money allowed the club to build the larger Camp de Les Corts to cater to them.
Several expansion projects began after the Spanish Civil War. By the end of such, Les Corts could hold 60,000 spectators. No further room was available for expansion at the ground. Yet Barcelona continued attracting more and more people as a football club. The building of Camp Nou began in March 1954. It took three years to complete, costing 288 million pesetas. Camp Nou has remained the home ground of Barcelona ever since. Until now.
For the 2023-24 season, Barcelona will leave the stadium to allow for £1.2 million in renovations to occur. Instead, the season will take place at the Olympic Stadium. Barcelona will then return to Camp Nou for the 2024-25 season. The renovations won’t be complete by then though, so the stadium will feature a reduced capacity. Work will cost no more than £1.2 billion at Camp Nou. The Olympic Stadium holds around 60,000 spectators. Players and fans will travel to the Montjuic area of Barcelona for home games. It served as the primary venue for the 1992 Olympic Games.
Salford City – AJ Bell Stadium
Salford City plays as a League Two club in the United Kingdom. It is the plan of the team to move to the AJ Bell Stadium in time for the start of the new season. Reports surfaced in 2022 that said Salford City had been in talks with Salford City Reds rugby team. This would see the latter team move to the Peninsula Stadium instead. That has been the home of Salford City FC since 1978. It went through renovation work in 2017 to bring it up to scratch.
The Super League rugby team share the AJ Bell stadium with Premiership rugby team Sale Sharks. Yet the rental agreement with the stadium for the Reds ends this year. The report suggested that Salford City was confident it would be able to form a deal, though. The Sale Sharks have spoken about returning to their hometown for home games before. This didn’t occur in 2020 when everyone expected it to. Instead, it made an offer to share the AJ Bell.
If it does indeed go ahead, Salford City will be acquiring a stadium with 12,000-capacity. Yet with further construction, it can expand to accommodate 20,000 fans. Peninsula Stadium has a capacity of 5,108, which is, of course, much lower.
Egypt – New Administrative Capital Stadium
The Egyptian national football team spent its early years playing at the Cairo International Stadium. This began in 1960 and continued throughout the proceeding years. During renovations on that stadium, the team has played at the Borg El Arab Stadium. Construction on that venue completed in 2005, making it a much more modern stadium. Yet 2023 is to bring a new stadium to Egypt, which the football team will occupy.
The New Administrative Capital Stadium has been under construction since 2019. The ground will be able to hold 93,000 people, making it the largest in Egypt. It will, of course, replace the Cairo International Stadium as the new national ground. It will feature various sports complexes within, including an Olympic-size swimming pool. It is likely that Egypt will place bids to host the Olympic Games or World Cup as a result.
JS Kabylie – Stade Abdelkader Khalef
JS Kabylie is not a team that many people are familiar with. It stands for the Jeunesse Sportive de Kabylie, based in Algeria. Founded in 1946, the team’s home stadium has a capacity of 20,000 fans. Known as the 1 November 1954 Stadium, it has played host to many games over the years. JS Kabylie currently plays in the Algeria Ligue Professionnelle 1. It is also the country’s most successful football club.
Yet for the 2023-24 season, the team will move to the New Stadium of Tizi-Ouzou. This stadium has the main priority of hosting football matches. It has space for 50,766 spectators, replacing the former stadium for JS Kabylie. Work started on the stadium in May 2010 and completed in November 2022.
PFC Cherno More Varna – Arena Varna
Bulgarian football isn’t the biggest sport in the world. Yet it is gaining traction, with PFC Ludogorets and others receiving more recognition these days. One Bulgarian team that will be moving into new grounds this season is PFC Cherno More Varna. Over the years, the team has used Ticha Stadium in Varna as its home ground. That stadium has a capacity of 6,250 seating places. Volunteers and sports fans helped to construct the ground.
In 2015, work started on a new stadium, which had a target completion of 2019. Unfortunately, delays with funding and then the COVID-19 crisis postponed construction. By summer 2022, the stadium remained under construction. Things began moving again though, and Arena Varna will open for the 2023 season. This will increase the capacity of fans to 22,000. It features an underground parking area, convertible roof covers, office lounges, and more.