FC Barcelona received some good news on Tuesday, after the Catalan government decided to allow football stadiums, including the Camp Nou, to operate at full capacity from Friday October 15. The announcement came at exactly the right time, with the blockbuster "El Clasico" between Barcelona and Real Madrid coming up on October 24.
Barcelona, along with other professional sports organisations, lost a lot of potential revenue in the past year due to restrictions brought about by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Numerous matches and events were cancelled, and even those that eventually pushed through were held behind closed doors or with limited capacity.
The safety protocols dried up the revenues from ticket sales, causing a financial crunch for most clubs. FC Barcelona was particularly hard-hit owing to the fact that their overhead expenses are massive and they used to enjoy a healthy revenue stream from ticket sales comapared to most other clubs.
The change in regulations will allow Barcelona to now take full advantage of El Clasico and another two home games that are coming up. They will be hoping for good results in order to attract more fans to come to the stadium. Earlier in the season, there was a massive dip in interest from fans, partly owing to the departure of Lionel Messi over the summer.
The dismal results did not help either, with the audience glaringly sparse even for big games like Barcelona's Champions League opener against German giants Bayern Munich. Ticket sales did not come close to being sold out, even with the limited allowable percentage of seats on sale.
Nevertheless, the "El Clasico" will be the true test. The match is typically sold out over the years, and this year is not expected to be different. Ronald Koeman will want to come into the match on a high, and to do that they must win over Valencia on Sunday, October 17. They will also need to revive their Champions League campaign when they face Dynamo Kiev in a must-win match in mid-week before facing bitter rivals Real Madrid.
Despite allowing 100 percent capacity in the stadium, Marca reports that mask-wearing will still be mandatory for members of the public who wish to attend.