Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu to get £330mn facelift



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Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu

Real Madrid has set into motion an ambitious plan to turn its Santiago Bernabéu ground into the ‘best stadium in the world’. The Spanish football club unveiled a £330mn redesign project for the stadium earlier this year.

The stadium will be designed by a group led by a German firm, GMP Architekten, and includes Spanish architects Ribas & Ribas according to media reports. The proposed design of the stadium renovation, produced by GMP, was unveiled on January 31, 2014. Work is scheduled to begin at the end of the season.

 

Iconic venue

The redesign is aimed at transforming the Bernabéu into an iconic venue, as well as a multi-functional stadium capable of tripling the club’s official revenue.

GMP’s selected design incorporates a new lavish exterior that includes a retractable roof and is due to be completed by 2017.

In order to turn the stadium into a successful money making venture outside match days, revenue will largely be generated by the new VIP section, a new shopping mall, and a hotel to be built on land adjacent to the Paseo de la Castellana thoroughfare.

And, to a lesser extent, earnings will benefit from an increase in seating capacity. The Bernabéu currently has a capacity of 85,454 but Real are yet to confirm whether this will change after the refurbishments.

 

Innovative financing

Reports in the Spanish media suggest half the financing for the project would come from selling naming rights and the other half from a bond issue among Real members.

However, there appears to be a slight hitch with the naming rights option. The problem is that the companies with the kind of money necessary to pay these sums are not willing to include the name ‘Bernabéu’ on the facade. If they agreed to do so, the cost of the project would decrease considerably. In this way the club will not have to resort to a bank loan.

Real wants to get the refurbishment under way at the end of the present season, but the new stadium won’t be finished until 2017.

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