Soccer-Barcelona to let fans decide on the new Camp Nou


By Tim Hanlon

BARCELONA, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Barcelona will ask their fans to decide on whether the club should rebuild their Camp Nou stadium or move to a new site, vice-president Javier Faus told local radio on Tuesday.

Faus said the board would meet on Jan. 20 to consider the proposals, both of which would lift capacity from 98,000 to 105,000, and then be put to a fans vote.

"We have ruled out making small changes as that would be more complex and worse for the fans who would lose 12,000 seats," said Faus, the club's economic vice-president.

"The cost of rebuilding would be 300 million euros ($413.14 million) or 600 million for a new stadium, but that would be more expensive still with a new sports hall.

"We will not make a decision, it will be down to the fans.

"The club can generate between 100 and 120 million euros annually and half of this could be spent on the sports project and the rest on preparing the surroundings.

"We will not delay and we won't increase the prices for club members until 2016," he added.

Faus said that either proposal could see the club earn an extra 30 to 35 million euros a year.

The board was also considering giving club members the chance to vote on whether to offer stadium naming rights for sponsors.

"There is a general feeling among the board not to sell the name although surveys have shown it is not something that the fans value," added Faus.

It is not the first time the club has weighed moving from their ageing ground, which was opened in 1957.

Former president Joan Laporta considered a project by British architect Norman Foster but the plan never took off after disputes over rising costs of construction and payments.

($1 = 0.7261 euros) (Editing by Ian Ransom)

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