Football: Real Madrid secure financing to remodel Bernabeu stadium

FILE PHOTO: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez speaks during the presentation of a project to m FILE PHOTO: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez speaks during the presentation of a project to modernise the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Spain, April 2, 2019. REUTERS/Juan Medina/File Photo

MADRID: Real Madrid have secured financing to revamp the Santiago Bernabeu stadium with construction due to begin at the end of this season for completion by 2023, the Liga club said in a statement on Friday (Apr 12).

Real, who last week unveiled ambitious plans for a “digital stadium of the future”, secured a 575 million euros (£497 million) loan that they will start paying back in 2023 at a fixed 2.5 per cent interest rate through to 2049.

The club will service an annual debt of 29.5 million euros per year on the works throughout the period.

Real said the facelift, which will not increase the 81,000 capacity, would not affect other aspects of the club including player transfers, which will please coach Zinedine Zidane.

Manchester United’s France midfielder Paul Pogba and Chelsea’s Belgian international Eden Hazard have been heavily linked to Real by local media in recent weeks.

“The new income generated by the renovation will not only finance the costs of the works but will also significantly increase the club’s recurring revenues, thus allowing Real Madrid to maintain its sports and economic leadership for the decades to come,” the statement read.

A retractable roof will be installed and the stadium will also be wrapped in a titanium facade, while a 360-degree scoreboard will also be installed.

Pedestrian areas will be built along with an expanded megastore, while an interactive museum with virtual reality technology will be created as well as restaurants and bars to generate more revenue for the 13-times European champions.

Real Madrid’s rivals Barcelona are also revamping their stadium, which will increase the Nou Camp’s capacity from 99,000 to 105,000 and is set to be finished by the 2023/2024 season.