January 29, 2023

Barcelona’s incredible Nou Camp development will cost £400m, while Real Madrid’s new Bernabeu features a stunning retractable roof… so, how exactly do they compare?

October 12, 2016
  • Real Madrid announced that they’d received permission to develop the Santiago Bernabeu 
  • The new stadium features a futuristic new design as well as a retractable roof that can close in 20 minutes 
  • Rivals Barcelona have already received permission to start a major new development of the Nou Camp 
  • The capacity will increase  from 98,772 to 105,000, consolidating its place as the biggest stadium in Europe
  • So how exactly do the plans for these two great stadiums compare? Sportsmail takes a closer look

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will have new homes in around three years time as both Barcelona and Real Madrid unveil plans for multimillion euro upgrades on their existing arenas. Sportsmail looks at how the two super stadiums match-up.


Who are the new stadium designers?

Norman Foster’s spectacular plans led the way back in 2007 but in the end it was Japanese firm Nikken Sekkei and Catalan designers Joan Pascual – Ramon Ausio Arquitectes who won the contract.

Real Madrid:
German architects GMP Arckitekten and Catalan design companies L35 and Ribas&Ribas are behind Real Madrid’s plans. The Ribas from Ribas&Ribas is actually a Barcelona membership card holder by the name of Josep.


Location, location, location

Not going anywhere. They will still be just a short stroll down from the city’s famous seven-mile long Avenida Diagonal.

Real Madrid:
Likewise, they will stay put in their city centre home on the Paseo de la Castellana.


What will the new capacity be?

Increasing from 98,772 to 105,000. The addition of extra seats makes the prospect of part of the stadium being closed while work is carried out far more likely in the case of the Barcelona project.

Real Madrid:
It stays at just over 81,000. There will be 3,000 new seats but they will replace old seats so the capacity will not change.


How much will it cost?

€390m for the stadium itself but rising to almost €600m when the price for the adjoining Espai Barca where the basketball team will play, is added.

Real Madrid:
The final price should be around €400m.


How are they going to pay for it?

€200m will be borrowed, €200m will come from the club itself and €200m will come from a sponsor whose name will be added to the stadium. A US firm is already understood to be scouting a willing advertiser.

Real Madrid:
Madrid have eased up on transfer spending in recent seasons. They actually made a net profit in the last window. But the bulk will still have to come from a sponsor. The Abu Dhabi investment company IPIC who own the Spanish oil company Cepsa are favourites to win the bidding war and they would then get their name on the existing stadium name.

Santiago Bernabeu IPIC stadium or the Santiago Bernabeu Cepsa stadium are possible new names.

But IPIC are not guaranteed to become the new sponsor. The Wall Street Journal reported in August that their director general Khadem Al Qubaisi had been arrested as part of a fraud and corruption investigation.

Madrid had originally sought to fund the new ground with money from a new hotel and shopping complex but those additions were part of original plans that were rejected by local residents. They may still be possible at some time in the future.


When will work begin?

Work is set to start at the end of this season.

Real Madrid:
Work could begin as early as May 2017 if, as is hoped, the latest proposal is not opposed by local residents. With the original complaints having been addressed the plan should be unopposed. A process of bidding for the construction contract will then begin with Perez’s construction firm ACS not part of the bidding process.


What snazzy add-ons have been included in the plans?

The exterior of the stadium will be transparent showing a three-ring structure. And the adjoining Espai Barca will include a 12,000 seater Basketball venue built on the site of the current Mini Estadi where the B team play. The B-team will now play at the out-of-town training ground. There will be four new video scoreboards and the club promise although there will be no roof, everyone inside will stay dry as the see the game.

Real Madrid:
Their new stadium will boast a retractable roof that will take around 20 minutes to roll back. There will also be a 360-degree electronic scoreboard running around the perimeter and the steel casing of the stadium will project images of players past and present through the night lighting up the old Chamartin neighbourhood. Madrid will also have room to expand their museum because they are moving club offices to their out-of-town training complex by the airport.


When will building work finish?


Real Madrid:

if everything goes to plan, meaning they get to cut the ribbon on their new home first.


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