Real Madrid hope €525m Bernabeu renovation gives them 'best stadium in world'
Real Madrid's general assembly voted in favour of putting the club €525 million into debt in order to fund the remodelling of the Santiago Bernabeu.
The 92 percent of voters who supported the works -- 1,017 were in favour, 57 were against and 23 abstained -- did so on Sunday based on president Florentino Perez's promise that the new stadium would generate €150m a year in additional revenue.
Here is a look at what the majority voted for on Sunday:
The stadium will be wrapped in "a layer of steel bands and varying lines that will be lit up and will also project images," Perez said. It will also include a roof that covers the pitch, which means the covering of seats from the elements in Madrid.
There will be two new stores in the surrounding areas of the stadium, with €300m of the money going toward work around the Bernabeu along with "digital points of sale of the most prestigious electronics and consumer brands [that will] turn common areas into a showcase for global news."
Madrid's €525m debt will be paid off at a fixed interest rate over 35 years, according to Perez. The president of the club stressed that given the economic climate and with interest rates at an all-time low, it was "an opportunity that should not be missed," he said. With the club in a healthy position financially, including an 11 percent average increase in revenue since 2000, they could take on the debt.
"Our current situation, of great economic safety, makes the club ready to tackle one of its greatest challenges: to turn the Santiago Bernabeu stadium into the best stadium in the world," Perez told the assembly.
Madrid projected the renovations would cost €400m when first proposed in 2009, but Perez said the increase is due to obtaining the required permits from the Madrid City Council as well as the increasing the digital scope of the project.
Approximately €100m will be utilised to help the Bernabeu take advantage of advances in digital technology, which "will be one of the essential features of the project," Perez said. To enliven the stadium experience, a 360-degree video scoreboard will be constructed, as well as a dedicated space inside the stadium for e-sports.
"There will be a spectacular expansion of the current museum in the area of Castellana with much more floor area, and a new interactive museum will be created with the latest virtual reality technologies in the area of Padre Damian," Perez said.
Madrid are also looking to extend the stadium tour, with a panoramic view around the perimeter of the roof included.
Madrid are hoping to be given permission to begin renovations early in 2019 and will start construction soon after, Perez said. He estimated it will take three and a half years and does not believe the works will affect the sporting calendar.
The board of directors chose a joint bid from GMP Architekten, L35 and Ribas & Ribas to carry out the renovations. Perez said his own company, ACS Group, will not be involved to ensure compliance with the club's code of ethics.