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Real Madrid pushes stadium borrowing up to €800m

Real Madrid members have agreed to the club extending its debt to pay for additional renovation work at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.

The board’s proposal, designed to fund works such as the retractable pitch that will generate extra revenue, was passed almost unanimously by members at an extraordinary general assembly on Saturday. A new loan of €225m on top of €575m previously agreed with JP Morgan brings the deal to €800m, according to Reuters.

The additional funds will be for technology enhancements under the retractable grass field. A complex ventilation and climate system, LED heat lamps, a controlled watering system, and ultraviolet light treatment are all going to be added to enhance the playing surface.

In a meeting with a group of club members on Wednesday, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said the cost of the new loan could be below 2%, a cheaper interest rate than in the initial operation, a source present at the meeting told Reuters.

The club said in a statement: “Following the end of the ordinary general assembly, the extraordinary general assembly took place, in which the Real Madrid representative members approved the proposal to extend the authorisation for the club’s board of directors to take out credit in order to finance the work not initially included in the remodelling of the Santiago Bernabéu.”

The adaptable playing surface could help to generate some €150m in revenue from stadium events annually, with the club seeking to host events all year round. A new video released earlier this month outlines plans to host NFL and NBA games, tennis tournaments and even fairs and conferences.