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How has the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys fared as Barcelona’s temporary stadium?

The Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys has been the temporary home of Spanish giants Barcelona this season. Given the Camp Nou's iconic status within the sport and unquestionable synonymity with the club, the ground had extremely large boots to fill.

The club have made an array of improvements to the site during the course of the campaign to help it do so, but the question remains: how has the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys fared as the Blaugrana's temporary stadium?

Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys as Barcelona's temporary stadium

Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys
The Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys has a total capacity of 55,962. Photo by Icon Sport

Why are Barcelona playing at Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys

Anyone who has been an avid fan of football for any amount of time will have, at the very least, heard of the Camp Nou and know of its importance to the sport and to Barcelona themselves. So, why aren't they playing there this season?

In short, the ground has been in desperate need of renovation for quite some time, and those improvements needed were so drastic that the club have been forced to vacate the premises while the work is completed.

The 27-times La Liga champions are expected to return to the Camp Nou for the 2024-25 season.

Has the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys been a successful temporary home?

To answer that question, we must look at it from two different perspectives, the first judging the site as a venue in modern-day football, and the second assessing to what extent it has formed a connection with the supporters.

Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys as a venue

In this metric, the ground has been satisfactory – at best. However, given it was first constructed in 1927 and hadn't been further renovated since the late 1980s, that is perhaps a good outcome.

The improvements made by Barcelona during the season have certainly boosted its effectiveness and helped to negate some issues faced early on.

For example, initially, there were no parking facilities in close proximity to the site and as a result, supporters found it incredibly difficult to travel to the stadium via car or motorbike.

That issue was eventually solved, and other improvements included upgrades to the hospitality rooms, press boxes, changing rooms, pitch and irrigation system.

It certainly wasn't a complete failure as a venue, with those aforementioned renovations providing much-needed improvements.

Yet with issues such as a large portion of seats, believed to be around 10% of the total capacity, having restricted views of the pitch still present, it also cannot be viewed as a success.

Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys' connection with supporters

The Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys may not have been a complete failure as a hosting venue, but from the perspective of engaging supporters and building a connection with them, it has been a total disaster.

From the outset, it was doomed to fail, with the combination of an unpopular location and Barcelona somehow deciding it was the right time to increase ticket prices resulting in many season ticket holders staying away from the ground.

That has led to the club struggling for attendance this campaign, at least by their own standards, and that issue was highlighted during Barca's 1-0 home victory over Atletico Madrid in December.

Despite the impressive nature of the win, they attracted a crowd of just 34,658 – an incredibly low figure for a club the size of Barcelona and their lowest home attendance of the season.

The world-famous El Classico, a derby between Barcelona and Real Madrid, attracted a more respectable crowd of  50,000, but even that was some 5,000 spectators away from full capacity.

Final verdict on Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys

It is clear then that the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys has, for the most part, failed to fill the void left by Camp Nou, but there is at least one positive for Barcelona fans. A temporary home is just that – temporary, and the club will soon be returning to their rightful home ahead of the 2024/25 season.

Harry Dowsett

Freelance football writer with experience writing for multiple digital platforms, such as GIVEMESPORT. Recently graduated from Portsmouth University with a media studies degree - completing a dissertation on the evolution of sports journalism in the process. He has a love for Arsenal Football Club and a passion for football as a whole.

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