Real Madrid approves financing plan for Bernabéu revamp

Featured image credit: Real Madrid

Real Madrid has approved a financing plan to fund the ongoing renovation of the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, with president Florentino Pérez claiming that the project will “change the history” of the LaLiga club.

Following an extraordinary general assembly meeting held on Saturday, Real Madrid confirmed that a proposal to extend the authorisation to the club’s board of directors to go into debt in order to finance the works had been approved.

Of the 1,632 votes cast, 1,569 were in favour with 25 against and 38 abstentions. The approval came after it was reported last month that Real Madrid was seeking to borrow an extra €370m (£323m/$396m) to fund the renovation of the stadium and Pérez has now confirmed this amount.

In May, the club’s latest accounts showed that the accumulated investment in the stadium redevelopment project had increased from €537.8m in 2021-22 to €892.7m in 2022-23. The latest debt increase would increase the amount dedicated to the project to over €1.2bn.

The Bernabéu is currently undergoing the biggest transformation in its 75-year history and Real Madrid debuted a new retractable roof at the stadium on September 2. The project is set to be wrapped up in the coming weeks, with a grand reopening event due to be scheduled for just before Christmas.

Following Saturday’s meeting, Pérez said: “The new Santiago Bernabéu stadium is going to change the history of Real Madrid. We have seen the pride it provokes in all Real Madrid fans when we are already achieving the culmination of a dream that will mark our destiny.”

He added: “We have to be aware of the adverse circumstances in which we have had to undertake this immense challenge. For all this, we have had to undertake the remodelling … of the Santiago Bernabéu stadium in the midst of one of the worst historical situations in the world economy, which has had a very special impact on the construction industry.

“The challenge, then, has become even more complex, but we are in the final stretch of its achievement. All these unforeseen eventualities have meant an increase in the budget of the work. But the budget has also increased because new actions not initially planned have been carried out, with the fundamental objective of increasing income and improving the final result of the investment. That is, to make our stadium even more productive.”

Pérez said the new funding will be put towards improving the hospitality experience at the Bernabéu, while every seat in the stadium will now be foldable. Saturday’s meeting also saw plans approved for Real Madrid’s sports complex to be known as Florentino Pérez Real Madrid City.

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.