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Perez unveils plans for new Bernabeu

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has said the proposed 400 million euro redevelopment of the Santiago Bernabeu will give the club “the best stadium in the world”’ when it is completed in 2017.

Real Madrid were supposed to be hosting Athletic Bilbao, but the Bernabeu will remain empty
The Bernabeu is set to be reshaped into something 'unique and spectacular.'

• Rigg: Jubulant January for Real Madrid

At a press conference at Real’s home on Friday, Perez said the competition to design the new ground had been won by a partnership between German firm GMP Architekten and Catalan company L35 Ribas.

Nothing was said about the potential sale of naming rights to the ground, or how the heavily-indebted club would finance the huge project.

But construction magnate Perez said the winning design, which includes a retractable roof and “intelligent skin” and is inspired by Rome’s Coliseum, combined everything the club had been looking for.

“This forward-looking project reflects perfectly the objectives we wanted,” he said. “It combines great beauty with the possibility to fit with our sporting calendar. The consortium chosen has great international prestige and has been chosen to build stadiums for the next World Cup and past Euros.

“We want it to be the best stadium in the world with the most possible comfort, an icon at the vanguard of modern architecture -- the best stadium in a special setting, unique and spectacular.”

GMP Architekten director Volkwin Marg said the outside of the stadium would be “sensitive” to the mood of the fans watching their team play inside, explaining: “The enclosure itself will be intelligent. The stadium, thanks to this sensitive epidermis, will vibrate and stimulate depending on the emotions of the spectators.”

AS reported that the new ground will include a luxury hotel and much-expanded corporate facilities to help Madrid increase matchday takings by 30 percent.

It also claimed the club would also raise 200 million euros from selling “surnaming” rights to what could then be known as the XXXX Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. International firms, including Coca Cola and Microsoft, are rumoured to be interested in such a deal.

El Pais had broken the news of the winning project 24 hours earlier in a report that claimed the increase in matchday takings would be much greater with the commercial additions to the new ground upping revenues per fan from a current level of 0.80 euros to more than 10 euros -- more in keeping with a modern American stadium.

But the Bernabeu project has been criticised by some local residents, and in April last year it was claimed Madrid were being investigated by the European Commission for allegedly receiving illegal state aid because of a land swap with the city authorities which gave the club an extra footprint to expand into.

Madrid's La Liga rivals Barcelona also have their own ambitious construction plans, with the club's new president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, having given his backing to a proposal introduced in January by predecessor Sandro Rosell.

Barca socios are set to vote on that 600 million euro project in early April.

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