Design & Development

Real Madrid debuts new roof at Bernabéu

Featured image credit: Real Madrid

Real Madrid debuted the new retractable roof at the Santiago Bernabéu on Saturday as the LaLiga club marked its first home match of the season with a 2-1 win over Getafe.

Real Madrid had to play the first three LaLiga matches of the season away from home as work on the Bernabéu was carried out. The stadium is undergoing a major renovation project, with the work set to be wrapped up in the coming months and a grand reopening event scheduled for just before Christmas.

The roof installation has already been completed, and it was called into action on Saturday amid heavy rainfall in the Spanish capital. The weather led to Atlético Madrid’s home match against Sevilla yesterday (Sunday) being called off.

Real Madrid maintained its 100% winning start to the LaLiga season as an injury-time goal from Jude Bellingham secured a 2-1 win over Getafe under the roof. Coach Carlo Ancelotti praised the impact of the fans and the “much more enclosed atmosphere” inside the stadium.

Prior to the match, Real Madrid released an eye-catching video showcasing the work that has been carried out at the Bernabéu. The drone footage included shots of the roof, a stadium skywalk, VIP areas and the new façade of the venue.

In May, the club’s latest accounts showed that the accumulated investment in the stadium redevelopment project had increased from €537.8m (£459.6m/$580.8m) in 2021-22 to €892.7m in 2022-23.

The Bernabéu’s capacity was restricted to around 63,000 last season. The attendance for Saturday’s match was around 67,000, and the overall capacity of the stadium will be back above 80,000 once the renovation project is completed.

Real estimates that the increase in revenue from the full commercial availability of the stadium will come into effect from January 2024 and develop progressively. As a result, the club estimates that stadium revenues will increase “significantly”, with further rises anticipated in 2024-25 when the revamped Bernabéu is fully operational.

In May last year, Real sealed a €360m deal with global investment firm Sixth Street and premium experiences company Legends, which will lead to the formation of a new entity aimed at enhancing the non-football activities at the revamped Bernabéu. Several concerts have been scheduled for the stadium next year, including a double-header from Taylor Swift.