Up to 30,000 Barcelona fans may have the chance to pay to have their ashes interred at a rebuilt Camp Nou.
• Ledwith: Messi brilliance tempered by Neymar injury
Barca announced on Friday that plans were in place for a large mausoleum where urns would be stored among images of the club’s sporting successes, allowing Blaugrana socios to be part of their team’s story even after death.
The Catalan club’s facilities and safety director Josep Ramon Vidal-Abarca said at a launch event that the idea had come from Barca fans themselves keen to have their ashes placed in the stadium when they pass away.
“This is a response to a historic demand from socios and fans that their remains could rest at the stadium,” Vidal-Abarca said. “It is the wish of many socios which we have seen, and we have decided to come up with a solution.”
With plans for Barca’s future home still up in the air -- a referendum is due to be held this year on whether to upgrade the Camp Nou or build a new stadium -- the club said that the first phase of the plan will see a temporary mausoleum installed at the nearby Cementerio de Les Corts.
The second phase of the project, which is being promoted in partnership with agency Giem Sports, will see enough space to store 30,000 urns at the Barca’s home.
This mausoleum will be decorated with images from Blaugrana history so that “members of the Barcelona family” can rest in peace amid their favourite sporting memories. There will also be commemorative plaques so that former fans' names “can form part of the stadium.”
Individual slots in the mausoleum will not come cheap -- with two deals on offer. A 50-year lease on place will cost 3,000 euros plus VAT, said a club statement, with a 99-year lease costing 6,000 euros plus VAT.
Giem Sports have experience in handling such projects, and currently manage similar mausoleums at the grounds of Espanyol, Atletico Madrid and Real Betis.