The Spanish champions, Real Madrid have been playing behind closed doors in a venue that is unfamiliar to many fans and a lot of football fans have been wondering why this is the case.
The UEFA Champions League has returned and Real Madrid are still not using the famous Santiago De Bernabeu Stadium, which has been their home since 1947. They have been playing at the Alfredo De Stefano Stadium.
The Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium is home to Real Madrid Castilla – Real Madrid’s reserve team – and has a capacity of 6,000, which is some way off the Bernabeu’s 81,000 seats.
However, the capacity of the stadium is of no relevance when European football chiefs have indicated that games must be played behind closed doors in the interests of public health.
The Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium is part of the Ciudad Real Madrid (meaning Real Madrid City), the club’s training complex located in Valdebebas.
Omasports has found out why this is the case.
Real Madrid are not currently playing at Santiago Bernabeu because the stadium is being comprehensively renovated.
This was by Club president Florentino Perez at the beginning of June, ahead of the proposed Spanish football restart.
Renovations to the Bernabeu stadium had been calculated to conclude in the summer of 2022, but the three-month coronavirus-enforced break prompted Real Madrid to bring forward their work schedule, so it may be finished sooner.
Here is what Perez said in 2019 as he explained the thinking behind renovating the venue: “Our future naturally involves a new Santiago Bernabeu stadium, a reference of the 21st century.
“A modern, avant-garde stadium, with maximum comfort and safety, with state-of-the-art technology, where fans can experience unique sensations and also be a new and important source of income for the club.”
The new-look Santiago Bernabeu will have a markedly different appearance to the old iconic venue along with fresh upgrades.
There will be an all-new exterior and it will be covered with a retractable roof, which is a notable departure from the current – and classic – open-air design.
An underground car park will also be put in place on the site of the old Esquina del Bernabeu shopping centre, with approximately 500 spaces expected to be on offer to fans and visiting teams.
The current redevelopment is the first major upgrade work on the venue since the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Games from the 2020-21 season onwards will likely be opened to supporters again and if matches cannot be played at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Wanda Metropolitano has been suggested as an alternative venue. However, it remains to be seen if Real Madrid will explore that possibility.
Curled from Goal.com