Real Madrid have taken out an additional loan of €225million for a new phase of remodelling work at the Santiago Bernabeu that will see an underground greenhouse installed.
Los Blancos initially confirmed plans for the €525m renovation four years ago, with the work set to increase capacity by 4,000 to roughly 85,000 and include the incorporation of a retractable roof and pitch.
Construction work began in 2020 during the hiatus ushered in amid the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, with Madrid subsequently playing their home matches at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano – the club’s training base – when the 2020-21 season resumed.
Madrid eventually returned to the Santiago Bernabeu in September this year but much of the remodelling is yet to be completed, with the club now confirming an extra phase has been added.
The subterranean greenhouse will ensure their playing surface remains pristine even when it is retracted.
Providing details of the loan and its use, a club statement read: “Real Madrid signed the extension of the financing of the works not initially included in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium remodelling project through a new loan for a total amount of €225million, with a term of 27 years and a fixed interest rate of 1.53 per cent.
“These conditions are the best ever obtained for long-term financing in the sport industry. The loan also includes a grace period for the repayment of the principal, so that Real Madrid will not start repaying the loan until 30 July 2024.
“The funding will be used for the construction of a large underground greenhouse which was not foreseen in the initial work due to its complexity and which was technologically resolved at a later date.
“This greenhouse will allow the automatic removal of the pitch and its preservation in optimal conditions and in perfect shape to be used when a football match is to be held. In this way, the number of events that can be held without impacting the grass will be maximised.”