New Bernabeu Roof Costs £360m
Real Madrid’s emblematic Santiago Bernabeu stadium will finally get its much-anticipated 400m euros makeover when work begins at the end of this season.
A High Court ruling last year stalled plans for the redevelopment but compromises have since been met and the club’s president Florentino Perez and Madrid mayor Manuela Carmena presented the revised project on Tuesday.
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 partly fund the project with the sponsor having their name tagged at the end of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium name.
Over 4million people visit the ground every year, said Perez, and when the three-year job is completed, 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 the old ones.
The car park that currently separates the ground from Madrid’s most famous avenue ‘Paseo de la Castellana’ has 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 advertisting – 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.
For work to begin in 2017, as hoped, the latest proposal needs to sail through the formality of not being opposed by local residents. With the original complaints having been addressed, that is expected to happen and give way to a process of bidding for the construction contract. Perez, who has made his fortune in construction, confirmed his company, ACS, would not be part of the bidding process.