Iconic Madrid 2020 venue set for major revamp
Monday, 19 November 2012
November 19 - Madrid's famous Santiago Bernabéu Stadium could have a striking new look by 2020 when the Spanish capital hopes to host the Olympics for the first time.
The local Government has approved the proposed redevelopment of the Stadium, the home of La Liga champions Real Madrid, and which is due to be host the football finals if the city stages the Olympics.
The authority agreed to authorise a "one-off amendment" in its statutes to allow the extensive building work to take place with the key alteration set to be the addition of a new roof to the 85,454 capacity venue.
The project had already been approved by Madrid City Council but as part of the agreement, Real Madrid will hand over several plots of land that are currently owned by the club in the Carabanchel district of the city to the local Council.
In addition to the new roof, the Bernabéu is set to receive a new facade along with parking facilities and green areas.
The redevelopment has long been the ambition of Real Madrid President Florentino Pérez.
Pérez proposed construction of a retractable roof before he resigned in 2006 but the issue resurfaced again in 2009 when he was re-elected to the position.
The current economic crisis that has gripped Spain and Madrid appeared to put the plans in jeopardy but Pérez has always lobbied hard for the redevelopment.
"The redevelopment will represent a radical change to the stadium's look and will mean that all the stands will now be covered," he said.
"We will provide our stadium with an enveloping skin that will be a landmark architectural achievement worldwide.
"The Bernabéu must become a unique stadium, the best in the world, and the crowning achievement of the 21st century.
"It will be our legacy to future generations of Madridistas."
The Bernabéu has undergone a number of renovations since it opened in 1947 while Pérez himself oversaw a significant redevelopment of the Stadium during his first spell in power between 2000 and 2006.
Since it was first opened in 1947, the Bernabéu has been one of the world's most famous and prestigious football venues.
It has hosted the European Cup final on four occasions in 1957, 1969, 1980 as well as the UEFA Champions League Final in 2010.
It has also hosted the final of the 1982 World Cup.
Last year, the Bernabéu saw Real Madrid win La Liga after the team were spearheaded by the formiddible Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured above), who finished the season with a record total of 46 league goals.