Castellsagues ultimately ended up purchasing a ticket for the infant, but she wasn’t happy about it.
“I cannot believe I had to pay €54 (roughly $61) for my 10-month-old baby to enter the Camp Nou,” she wrote, noting that the seat she ended up buying for her child — which was in another section — likely sat empty since her baby sat on her lap.
“Is this the way for the club to take care of its fans?” she questioned. “My disappointment is indescribable.”
Before everyone casts Barcelona as the bad guy here, though, the club does have a reason for making all stadium entrants — even those who won’t take up a seat — enter Camp Nou with a ticket.
It’s the club’s way of making sure the team that’s hugely popular around the world doesn’t exceed the stadium’s 99,354 capacity.
“It’s an unpopular decision, but we’re taking this decision as an exercise in responsibility,” officials said in a 2013 press release when it decided to stop letting children under the age of seven in for free. “We prefer to take pre-emptive measures before regretting any misfortunes.”
As far as Castellsagues’s specific experience, the club said in a statement sent to The Washington Post that it was “sorry to learn about [her] troubles and unhappiness, especially when FC Barcelona has always shown such sensitivity to the needs ot its member and fans, especially those with families.”
The club explained that it takes special care to make sure occupancy levels are not exceeded in the stadium during matches that don’t fall within the purview of its season ticket. This included the Super Cup game that Castellsagues attended with her infant.
“This measure had nothing to do with making more money, but was a matter of responsibility,” Barca’s social arena director Pere Jansa said in a statement. “It is the club’s desire for everyone coming to the stadium with a ticket to be fully guaranteed in terms of safety and legal coverage. This would not have been the case with this baby if we had allowed him in without the required ticket.”
This post has been updated with Barcelona’s response.