COMING UP: Real Madrid’s new look stadium

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Real Madrid say work to remodel the Santiago Bernabeu will begin at the end of the season.

The 72-year-old venue will gain a retractable roof and a revamped facade to modernise its appearance.

The new-look Bernabeu will also have a 360-degree video screen and a new seating section, though its capacity is expected to remain at about 80,000 people.

“The new Santiago Bernabeu will be the best stadium in the world,” Real Madrid president Florentino Perez boasted.

The reconstruction will last three to four years. The club said the work will not affect the team’s home fixtures, as most of the heavy work will be done in the offseason.

The first step will be the demolition of a shopping center which will become a public plaza by the stadium located in the high-end Madrid neighborhood of Chamartin.

The corner access towers, one of the stadium’s most notable features, will be covered by the new steel facade when work is completed.

Real Madrid have tried to remodel the stadium several times but earlier projects were turned down by the city and court decisions. The club wasn’t allowed to increase the total size of the structures already in place so had to rearrange the current constructions, transferring some office spaces to the team’s base in Ciudad Real Madrid, in the city’s outskirts.

Madrid first started working on the stadium project in 2009. Three years ago, the club said the goal was to finish the new stadium by 2020, with a cost initially estimated at €400 million.

“The new stadium will allow us to keep growing,” Perez said. “It will allow Real Madrid to remain competitive in an increasingly difficult scenario in international football.”

Perez said that since 2000, Real Madrid have invested more than €250 million in the stadium, which was inaugurated in 1947.

Madrid rivals Barcelona have also started a project to remodel the Camp Nou, which will have a new roof and an increased seating capacity.

Atletico Madrid inaugurated their new Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in 2017.

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By The Telegraph

Edited by Tiyani wa ka Mabasa

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