Following Real Madrid's insistence the 2015 Copa del Rey final would not be played at the Estadio Bernabeu, the decision has been made to move the showpiece between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao to the Camp Nou, home of the Blaugrana.
AS English reported the news Wednesday:
This means Barcelona will effectively be playing a home final, with other venues on neutral ground losing out to the iconic Camp Nou. Ticket allocation means plenty of Basques should be able to enter the stadium, making the actual crowd more evenly matched, but the Catalans won't have to travel to play the final.
Author Sid Lowe thinks that, given the circumstances, the Camp Nou was a logical choice:
Both Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao had requested the final to be held in Madrid, more specifically at the Bernabeu, home of Real. Los Blancos had not made the stadium available, and as reported by Marca, they refused to change their minds.
Unlike most European countries, Spain doesn't have a designated venue to play the cup final, which moves around every year. On this occasion, both finalists declared their favourite venue to play the match, and as reported by BBC Sport, that preference was the Bernabeu.
As shared by Spanish football expert Rafael Hernandez, Bilbao have agreed to a final at the Camp Nou, instead:
Playing the match at Barcelona makes sense from an economical point of view; revenue will be split evenly, and the Camp Nou is the biggest stadium in Spain.
While Real's explanation for not wanting to host the final—the club simply didn't volunteer—is perfectly acceptable, there are plenty of other reasons why Los Blancos would rather not agree to the demands of Barcelona and Bilbao.
Apart from the obvious fact the Blaugrana are their fierce rivals and it wouldn't be pleasant to watch them lift the Copa del Rey at the Bernabeu, the two finalists come from different regions of the country with strong identities. Having Madrid's most iconic stadium filled with Catalan and Basque flags would be a little odd, to say the least.
Instead, both clubs and their supporters will meet at the Camp Nou, where this year's rendition of the Spanish national anthem, traditionally played before the final, should be some spectacle.