RCD Espanyol – UEFA Cup finalists last season – are among the European clubs setting the pace with a new stadium to meet UEFA's stringent criteria.
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UEFA club licensing and stadium and security representatives met with RCD Espanyol CEO Pedro Tomás, architect Joan Tusell and project designer Salvador Alonso, as well as Spanish Football Federation club licensing chief Eduardo Dervishi, at UEFA headquarters in Nyon to outline the project for the Barcelona club's new RCDE Estadio, to be located in the districts of Cornella and El Prat.
Completion of the ground is scheduled for February 2009. The venue will be a 40,000 all-seater stadium which, on the basis of the plans, is in line with UEFA's infrastructure requirement for having élite status. UEFA offered its congratulations for the project's innovative qualities which could serve as an example for future European stadiums. The arena will combine a football ground with an entertainment and shopping complex, also taking environmental issues into account – with photovoltaic panels in the roof (the photovoltaic effect being to help convert solar energy into electricity) and the facility for recycling rainwater from the roof. The scheme is being financed without public funding. A first UEFA visit will take place in May, and if all goes to plan, the stadium may soon be in a position to host European competition matches.