The Camp Nou building works began in 1954 and were completed three years later.The grounds were inaugurated during the presidency of Francesc Miró-Sans, on 24 September 1957, on the day of La Mercè, Barcelona’s patron saint. Different celebratory acts took place at the inauguration ceremony, which included a match against a selection of players from Warsaw. Barça enjoyed its first victory in the stadium, 4-2. Eulogio Martínez scored the first goal.
The stadium had an initial capacity of 93,053 spectators. The total cost of the Camp Nou was 288,088,143 pesetas (EUR 1,731,446). Today, Camp Nou is the stadium with the largest capacity in Europe, accommodating 98,772 spectators.
The stadium has undergone several renovations and improvements since 1957. The most important include the unveiling of the floodlighting system in 1959, as well as the addition of the grandstand electronic scoreboard and the press room. But other than these specific changes, the biggest upheaval was the extension work of 1982, when the stadium was enlarged for the staging of the World Cup opening ceremony. The addition of a third tier raised the capacity by 22,150.
Other improvements have been made since the 1982 extension, such as the remodelling of the lowest tier in 1994, which involved lowering the level of the pitch. Several other projects have led to the stadium being awarded five stars, with such facilities as a Museum, Documentation Centre, Barça TV Studio and the Sports Medicine Centre.
Apart from being the stage for all of FC Barcelona’s home matches, the Camp Nou has also witnessed several major international finals, including Cup Winners Cup and Champions League finals, and the football final of the 1992 Olympic Games. But it has not only been used for sports, but also several other major international events, such as concerts given by such singers as Lluís Llach, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Josep Carreras, Julio Iglesias and groups like U2; acts of solidarity such as one for Amnesty International, and the visit of Pope John Paul II on November 7, 1982.
And the Camp Nou has also been used for events that have marked the history of the club itself, such as the 75th anniversary celebrations on November 27, 1974, when the club anthem 'Cant del Barça' was performed for the very first time, and the many events involved in the 1999 centenary celebrations, including the opening ceremony at which Joan Manuel Serrat sung the club anthem, or the final game, in which Barça played the Brazilian national side, and when all of the club’s former players paraded on the Camp Nou turf.