By Staff writer
International Petroleum Investment Company to help finance plan to remodel Santiago Bernabeu
Abu Dhabi investment fund IPIC is helping to finance the renovation of Real Madrid's football stadium which will include a retractable roof.
International Petroleum Investment Company will part finance the plan to transform the Santiago Bernabeu.
Madrid president Florentino Perez said on Tuesday that the project, with has been approved by city planners, will cost 400 million euros ($447 million) and construction is expected to start next year.
The revamped venue, which will also carry a new facade, is expected to be fully completed by 2020.
Perez said the Santiago Bernabeu will maintain its name, but it may gain a "surname" from a sponsor like at stadiums "everywhere in the world". In 2015, reports suggested it could be renamed the Abu Dhabi Bernabéu.
In October 2014, Real Madrid agreed a "long-term strategic partnership" with IPIC aimed at strengthening the club's status as the world's richest, and help fund the planned stadium overhaul.
The agreement included setting up Real museums and expanding their soccer schools around the world, as well as creating content for digital media platforms, said IPIC, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi government.
Speaking on Tuesday, Perez said:"We will see a dramatic transformation of the Santiago Bernabeu. This stadium is one of the emblematic icons of our city and we want to make it one of the best stadiums in the world and the undisputed symbol of the strength of our capital."
The venue originally inaugurated in 1947 will maintain its capacity of more than 80,000, although the seating sections may be redesigned. One of the stadiums most notable features, the four corner access towers, will be covered by the new facade.
In March, rival Barcelona announced its own remodeling project for the Camp Nou, increasing capacity from 99,354 to 105,000 after construction is fully finished in about five years. The stadium will also have a new roof covering all seating sections.