Forbes lists Real Madrid as the world’s most valuable sports team. Therefore, it’s unsurprising that there is a tinge of hyperbole surrounding the redevelopment of the team’s home stadium, Santiago Bernabeu. The Estadio Santiago Bernabeu has been undergoing renovations since 2019, and they are set to last for three years. The stadium’s construction began in 1947, and it is said to come to a close in 2022. The ongoing expansion is set to take advantage of the expansion of legalized gambling, leagues, and teams that is underway. While the current Spaniard laws bar the building of casinos in inner cities, they are predicted to accommodate changes by the stadium’s launch.
Reports from Insider Sport predict that the new venture will generate about €120 million for the club every season. The collective revenue of the latest amenities added to the stadium is anticipated to boost income by €150 million per season. Few other leagues have exploited gambling ventures to drive up their revenue, including;
- The National Football League (NFL) – while in-stadium betting kiosks and shops are banned, the league is considering gambling lounges that provide mobile betting options.
- The Washington Nationals – this league has plans to set up betting kiosks and windows at Nationals Park. They are also looking into mobile options that allow visitors to bet from their seats.
- Fulham – this league has already had its fair association with gambling, but things did not go in its favour. During the Premier League, BetVictor was Fulham’s sponsor. A poll revealed that 44% of the league’s fans were uncomfortable with the partnership and 22% said they would not purchase the club’s shirt.
When the Santiago Bernabeu was operational, it was only being used for thirty days annually on average. The club’s goal is to drive this number up to 300 days to give football fans more reason to visit the stadium.
While the opening of a casino in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium is the talk of the town, Real Madrid fans can expect more when the structure is complete. Visitors can explore much more than gambling at the establishment, including;
1. Museum Extension
Santiago Bernabeu has a museum that is set to undergo a revamp alongside the rest of the stadium. The museum will mainly cover the Paseo de la Castellana area. The section’s expansion will increase in size to make more room for a new interactive area in the Padre Damian zone. It will feature the latest virtual reality technology for futuristic tours. The Tour Bernabeu route will also be expanded to feature a panoramic tour that will take visitors around the stadium’s outer rim.
2. First-class restaurants
One of Santiago Bernabeu stadium’s most beaming additions is a string of first-class restaurants that will offer fine dining to its visitors. Among the expected restaurants is Ball All By Martin Berasategui, which will replace Real Café Bernabeu. Martin is a renowned Spanish chef with eight Michelin stars to his name and a suite of successful restaurants in other locations like Zen Market and El Asador de la Esquina. The restaurant will have two floors: the first floor will serve as the dining area and overlook the Bernabeu pitch, while the ground floor will offer cocktails and tapas. The club’s Real Café is set to continue offering services in its other locations, including Miami, Chile, Peru, Panama, New York, Chicago, and Mexico City.
3. Event spaces
The Estadio Santiago Bernabeu renovations aim to make it an all-around entertainment centre for visitors beyond football matches. The stadium will include event spaces where musical and other artistic events can be held.
4. Digital arena
The Santiago Bernabeu stadium will become a digital arena that uses audio-visual tools and other technological advancements. This technology use will allow fans to indulge in club-generated content that makes matchdays even more enjoyable on their smartphones and tablets. The second-screen adventure will also be enhanced by a fitted 360° scoreboard and areas devoted to esports.
5. Shopping centres
The Santiago Bernabeu renovation project is also set to improve the stadium’s urban setting. The current shopping centre will be demolished for two new towers on the Castellana that will feature escalators, ramps, and elevators. The new shopping centre will also have two Real Madrid stores within the complex to push the league’s merchandise. It’ll also serve as a point of sale for some of the world’s most prestigious electronic and consumer goods stores.
6. Basketball court
While it’s not yet been confirmed, the Estadia Santiago Bernabeu is likely to have a basketball court as well. The area will mainly host Real Madrid’s official team and become a second home after the Winzink Center, the main basketball arena.
7. More exit and entry points
The Santiago Bernabeu is set to introduce two large squares. The first one of about 20,000m2 will be built on the Paseo de la Castellina, and the second smaller one measuring 5,500m2 will be at the corner of Padre Damian. These additions will pedestrianize the Rafael Salgado street. The increased stadium capacity will see not only security improved but also accessibility to promote entry and evacuation. This is also supported by the increase in lifts, escalators, and ramps.
The Renovation So Far
The Estadia Santiago Bernabeu redevelopment has come a long way since it was launched in 2019. Currently, the stadium’s skin is the most notable change from the usual European stone architecture to a futuristic polished skin that looks like a mirror. When the stadium is complete, the skin will glow and vibrate with the help of an LED lighting system. It will also beam out Real Madrid’s most famous moments, which are far from a few considering they are 10-time European champions.
Santiago Bernabeu Stadium has come a long way from the wartime rubble where Real Madrid started its journey. Today, it stands as a bold, state-of-the-art, and space-age wonder that sets the bar high for other stadiums on the world stage.