Real Madrid has launched a venture selling off items removed from the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu as part of its major redevelopment project.
A dedicated website has been established whereby fans can purchase items from the ‘old’ Bernabéu in what the club claims is the most ambitious and extensive memorabilia programme in the history of sport.
More than 100,000 items will be available from the stadium, which is currently undergoing the biggest transformation in its 75-year history. The first items that can be purchased through the portal will be the old stadium seats, which will be transformed and personalised through what Real claims will be an “innovative and creative digital experience”.
Real members will have priority in the purchase of these seats, which can be customised through the addition of designer bases. Real said: “This initiative has been conceived in a sustainable way, since by reusing the 80,000 replaced seats more than 100 tonnes of plastic are prevented from having a negative impact on the environment. The custom seat bases will be made with a special 3D printing design using 100% recycled plastic.”
In the future, Real is planning to add an auction element to the platform offering unique objects, with “incalculable value”. These are set to include the complete Real dressing room, items from the VIP areas and presidential box, corner flags and stadium signage, and seats from the dugouts.
Real has said the revenue generated from the venture will be directed to education projects for social development and inclusion organised by the Real Madrid Foundation.
Real debuted the new retractable roof at the Santiago Bernabéu on September 2, as the LaLiga club marked its first home match of the season with a 2-1 win over Getafe. Real had to play the first three LaLiga matches of the season away from home as work on the Bernabéu was carried out. The project is set to be wrapped up in the coming months and a grand reopening event is due to be scheduled for just before Christmas.
In May, the club’s latest accounts showed that the accumulated investment in the stadium redevelopment project had increased from €537.8m (£465m/$570m) in 2021-22 to €892.7m in 2022-23.
The Bernabéu’s capacity was restricted to around 63,000 last season. The attendance for this season’s opening 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.