Real Madrid signs off on financial model for Bernabéu revamp

Real Madrid members have given the green light to a loan scheme for the redevelopment of the Santiago Bernabéu, as the Spanish LaLiga football club’s president Florentino Pérez revealed further details of the plan to create the world’s finest stadium.

Financial plans for the stadium redevelopment were signed off at a members’ assembly held in the Spanish capital yesterday (Sunday). Real’s representative members gave their approval to the board of directors to take on debts as part of the remodelling costs of the Santiago Bernabéu.

Perez said that the club’s current financial strength means that it is an ideal time to take out the €525m (£470.1m/$617.8m) loan, as he detailed how the cost of the project has increased. Real Madrid was last summer granted full approval to redevelop the 81,000-seat stadium, which at the time was expected to cost approximately €400m.

Perez said: “We think that the best formula today to face this comprehensive remodelling of the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, is to resort to long-term financing. Our soundness and our financial strength allow us to do so.

“We have perfect conditions for long-term financing with low and fixed interest rates. We now have a great opportunity, this may be temporary and we should not miss this chance. Our revenues have also increased by 30% in the same period and our net debt has gone into the black by €107m.

“The cost of this financing at fixed and long-term interest would mean an average annual fee of around €25m, which is less than 4% of our revenues from last season and would have no impact on our sports or our sporting model.”

Real’s president said that work on the project is expected to begin at the end of the current 2018-19 season, with a construction tender to be launched and a winning contractor named at the beginning of 2019. The work is projected to have a three-and-a-half-year timeline.

Perez said: “The project, which has already been adapted to meet the needs raised by the ruling of the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid, has caused an increase in costs. We think that the budget of the investment in our stadium will amount to around €525m. The most important items correspond to civil works, around €300m, and technological equipment and innovation, which means a cost of just over €100m.”

Perez also stated that the new-look stadium will generate an extra €150m per season in revenue, as he detailed plans to create a venue with the best comfort levels, utilising the latest modern technology.

He said: “The renovated stadium will have a new image, that will be unique and never before seen, a layer of steel bands and varying lines that will be lit up and will also project images. This will include a fixed and a retractable roof that covers the pitch, so that all areas, as well as new seats, will be protected.”

Perez added: “We want to turn the stadium into a technological platform where we can interact with members and Real Madrid players from all over the world. Technology will be one of the essential features of the project, as an example of an interior space for esports, and the installation of a spectacular 360-degree video scoreboard within the stadium’s architectural structure incorporating the latest digital advances. This means a digital Santiago Bernabéu stadium.

“Technological advances and the application of audio-visual media will be present in many areas of the stadium so that from their seats, members and fans can enjoy club content on their phones and tablets that liven up the experience of live games.”

Image: Real Madrid