Real Madrid’s famous Santiago Bernabeu stadium will finally get its much-anticipated €400m makeover when work begins at the end of this season.
The retractable roof and state-of-the-art encasing of the stadium have been retained from original plans. The proposed hotel and commercial area are still to be negotiated. What is clear is that Madrid will look for a sponsor to part fund the project and with the sponsor having their name tagged on the end of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium name.
Over 4 million people visit the ground every year, said the club’s president Florentino Perez, and when the three-year job is complete the stadium will light up the Chamartin district of Madrid with light images rolling 24-7 on the stadium’s LED covering.
The current 81,000 capacity will not be increased but Perez said there would be 3,000 new seats replacing old seating.
The car park that currently separates the ground from Madrid’s most famous avenue ‘Paseo de la Castellana’ had been earmarked for commercial development but it will now be turned into a huge public square.
The club’s museum will increase in size with many of the offices being moved to the Valdebebas training complex alongside the capital’s main airport.
The new roof will keep the rain out although that will not be its principal advantage to the club. Madrid only receives around 17 inches of rain in a year, London receives 22 inches, but a ‘soft-top stadium offers more space for advertising – and is a potential home for the eventual stadium sponsor’s name.
As well as the retractable roof the stadium will also boast a 360 degree electronic scoreboard running around its perimeter.