EuroLeague CEO Jordi Bertomeu is far from happy with Barcelona’s home, court calling it “the worst gym in Europe” in an interview on a program ‘Tu dirás’ of RAC 1.
According to the boss of Europe’s elite competition: “It is urgent that Barcelona leave a gym that is the worst that there is in Europe and that it does not allow you to make the most of economic opportunities either in ACB or in the EuroLeague.
“This gym has tremendous limitations. Surely it is the oldest gym with less capacity and less services, because basically it is a facility built more than 40 years ago. Although Barca has invested in adapting it, improving it, making it more comfortable, it is an old building and as such has problems.”
Bertomeu wants Catalan giants to have a gym that would generate enough income for the club to be financially independent from support of its football branch:
“I want Barca to have a gym that allows it to generate resources to be competitive at the basketball club level, that does not need the support of the football club, it is the logic of economic sustainability of the model that I believe in. 10,000 or 15,000 [seats], Barca will know better than anyone.”
According to Bertomeu, “the EuroLeague does not oblige anyone, the first ones interested in having good facilities are the clubs.”
He used Zalgiris as an example on how home court should be like: “Zalgiris Kaunas, which is a club modest but with a gym of 15,000 spectators, does not lose a single euro at the end of the season and is generating resources that are surely greater than the big clubs.”
Palau Blaugrana, Barca’s current home court has a capacity of 7,585 which is 12th among 16 teams in EuroLeague. The club plans an expansion to 12,000 seats. The expansion is expected to be completed in 2020.
The expanded arena will be called Nou Paulau Blaugrana (The New Blaugrana). The video below is a visualization of the new gym.
Quotes via Marca