Real Madrid may use reserve team’s venue


Real Madrid Estadio Alfredo di Stéfano Image: Marca

Spanish LaLiga football club Real Madrid is contemplating using the Estadio Alfredo di Stéfano, the home of its reserve team, for first-team matches when the season resumes allowing construction work to proceed at its residence – Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.

On Wednesday, when German soccer season Bundesliga was given the nod to return to the pitch from May 16, 2020, La Liga clubs have been reporting for COVID-19 testing and training sessions at their club facilities. With play suspended since March and Spain being one of the hardest hit countries, there is now light at the end of the tunnel with LaLiga aiming for a return in mid-June.

La Liga’s organizers are aiming for a return to matches in the middle of June which could result in a race developing between them and the Premier League (top level of English football league) over who starts first. La Liga 2019-20 seasons was suspended indefinitely due to coronavirus in March as the pandemic continues to take dangerous form the world over and Spain is one of the countries to be devastated by the lethal virus.

Minerva Santana of LaLiga Spain will be one of the speakers at the Coliseum Summit EUROPE to be held at Ascot Racecourse in UK on September 2-3, 2020.

Real Madrid is a Spanish professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is a football stadium in Madrid. With a current seating capacity of 81,044, it has been the home stadium of Real Madrid since it went on stream in 1947. It is the second largest stadium in Spain and the largest in the Community of Madrid.

Media reports stated that Real Madrid is open to the idea of playing matches at the Estadio Alfredo di Stéfano, which has a capacity of 6,000 and forms part of the club’s training complex.

Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu redevelopment plan with 80,242 seating capacity which had come to a halt due to the coronavirus outbreak, has commenced again despite Spain being in the throes of coronavirus. The plan involves a 360-degree video screen along with a retractable roof at the Real Madrid stadium.

Work had been suspended at the end of March due to COVID-19, with the Bernabéu having been employed as a hub for the supply and distribution of strategic medical supplies as part of the effort to combat the virus.

The reconfiguration work is taking place alongside the normal sporting calendar and the stadium’s other activities, but with work having started last summer, the delivery date is reported to have slipped to October 2022.

The redevelopment work to date has focused on Bernabéu’s four columns, the commercial and shopping area, roof and private boxes. Moving first-team matches to the Estadio Alfredo di Stéfano would potentially speed up the redevelopment project at the 81,000-seat Bernabéu.

The Alfredo di Stéfano Stadium is the stadium of Real Madrid Castilla – the reserve team of Real Madrid. It was built in 2006. It has a capacity of 9,000. Plans are on to expand the stadium in the future to enhance the capacity to 24,000.

Real Madrid is scheduled to stage six more home matches in the league and could potentially have more Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League fixtures if it can overturn a first-leg deficit in its round of 16 tie against Manchester City.

Manchester City Football Club is an English football club based in Manchester (UK) that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football.

The Estadio Alfredo di Stéfano would need to be equipped with the necessary television cameras and Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology if it is to host LaLiga matches.

Video Assistance Referee aka VAR is a technology introduced in football similar to the third-umpire referral in cricket. Nowadays, the referees during football match can refer to VAR to check whether the ball has crossed the line or not, and also in case of offside and related decisions.

LaLiga and UEFA have informed Madrid that as far as they are concerned, there would be no problem playing the remainder of this season’s matches behind closed doors at the Di Stéfano. And besides, the pitch measurements are similar to those at the Bernabéu.

Madrid would need to make some adjustments to the Di Stefano to be able to stage first team matches there. More room would be required to set up all of the required VAR technology – extra cameras and a monitor room, like the one at the Bernabéu. Also, floodlighting at the Di Stéfano is adequate for television broadcasting of Castilla games in the Second Division B but doesn’t offer the kind of quality which is needed for League and Champions League broadcast. The club would need to install extra, more powerful floodlights in tune with benchmarks set by LaLiga and UEFA. Television camera positioning would also have to be planned.

Lastly, LED advertising banners would need to be put up as Real Madrid has obligations to keep with their sponsors, which bring in a substantial amount in revenue for the club.

Real Madrid knows that all the adjustments can be made at the smaller facility keeping in mind the fact that competition in Spain isn’t expected to return until June at the earliest. That gives them plenty of time to get sorted, and in the meantime, redecoration work in Bernabéu can move ahead which could be finished a few months ahead of schedule with the original project due to be completed by the autumn of 2022.

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