Premiere of the new Santiago Bernabéu: 150 million extra for Real Madrid

The new Bernabéu, premiere. In April 2019, Florentino Pérez, president of Real Madrid, kicked off the biggest project of his long career at the head of the club, the new Santiago Bernabéu. Two and a half years later, with a pandemic and with fiascos such as the Super League in the middle, the sports venue is preparing for its re-launch against RC Celta, on Sunday, September 12, in a project whose initial cost was around 800 million euros .

Due to the pandemic, which forced competitions to stop for several months in March last year, Real Madrid decided to prioritize the works at the Bernabéu, which is why when the tournaments resumed in June he did so by playing his matches at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium, in his sports city, thus facilitating the remodeling work of the Bernabéu.

Last Monday, the stadium was still far from showing off its best clothes. It had barely half of the lawn installed and light tests were being carried out, less than a week after the return of the public and the football to the stadium of the white team 560 days after the classic against FC Barcelona, ​​the last match played in the coliseum white before the outbreak of the pandemic. But it will be ready for this weekend, pausing the works momentarily until Monday. The work is advanced and allows the return of sports activity, but its complete completion is scheduled for early 2023.

For now the maximum capacity allowed by the authorities is 60 percent of the stadium’s capacity, around 48,000 spectators taking into account the capacity prior to the refurbishment (81,044 spectators), although the state of the works and the safety distance of one and a half meters between fans promises to limit it below that threshold. While there are capacity restrictions, the club will give priority to its members so that they can acquire the seats. In addition, the low and high stands of the south end and the west side have not yet been built, so tarpaulins will be put up in the first games.

“Our future necessarily passes through a new Santiago Bernabéu stadium, a reference of the 21st century,” Florentino Pérez said when presenting the reform of the sports venue, with the aim of transforming it into a modern, avant-garde stadium, with maximum comfort and safety, and in the that state-of-the-art technology will play a leading role, designed to become an important new source of income for the club.

Little remains of the original stadium, inaugurated in 1947, more than its soul. It has been transformed to become a sports venue designed for entertainment, with new leisure and restaurant areas, a 360-degree video scoreboard and an area dedicated to eSports, as well as a renovated museum. It will not even be recognizable by its external appearance, since it will have an enveloping and avant-garde image thanks to a skin of steel bands and variable lines that will illuminate and project images, in a project that includes a fixed and a retractable roof of the terrain of game, with all localities protected.

In addition, it incorporates a retractable lawn, one of its great innovations, which will make it easier for the stadium to be used for all kinds of activities without damaging the stadium on the pitch, thus maximizing the opening days and income derived from the stadium. And the La Esquina del Bernabéu shopping center has disappeared, giving way to a 500-space car park.

Real Madrid works with the forecast that the new Santiago Bernabéu will generate an additional 150 million euros compared to the 173 million it generated in 2017-2018. Events, hospitality, eSports, restoration, the new flagship store, the renovated museum and stadium tour or ecommerce will be key elements to offer a greater range of leisure and entertainment.

Real Madrid is ahead in the stadium renovation process. Although the coronavirus has stopped more than 1,000 million in investments in stadiums and sports cities of LaLigaThis has not been the case with the Concha Espina team. Now, the agreement by which the Spanish football association agreed on August 12 to transfer 10% of its business to CVC for 2,100 million euros, after an extraordinary assembly in which the vote ended with 38 votes in favor and four against FC Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid, Athletic Club and Real Oviedo (the only ones who opposed the agreement, although the Carballón team has rectified it), will mean a boost to these pending works, as Valencia CF has recognized the Valencian Generalitat .

In April 2019, The white club approved the signing of a loan from JP Morgan and Bank of America for 575 million euros for the remodeling of the Santiago Bernabéu. Madrid will have to pay a fixed annual fee of 29.5 million from July 30, 2023 and until its maturity on July 30, 2049 (27 installments), so that the initial cost amounted to 796.5 million. Last June, the club requested a new loan of 150 million, raising the total cost, including interest, above 900 million euros.

The club, which closed the 2020-2021 season with a profit of 874,000 euros Despite a decrease in revenue of 300 million euros as a result of the coronavirus since March 2020, it invested 166 million last year in the remodeling of its stadium, including the financial costs capitalized during the construction period. Up to now, the accumulated investment is 279 million. In July 2020, the second withdrawal of the loan was made for an amount of 275 million, which is added to the first of one hundred million in July 2019.

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