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Volume 10 No. 23


Real Madrid President Florentino Pérez wants to make the Santiago Bernabéu "the best stadium in the world" after "unveiling plans for its redevelopment on Friday," according to the PA. The estimated €400M ($540M) revamp will be led by German architects GMP. A new exterior will be built, and from the mock-ups shown on Friday, "a retractable roof will also be included in the project which will take three years to complete." GMP Owner Volkwin Marg, who will lead the project, said, "[We aim to] transform the Santiago Bernabéu into the most advanced and developed stadium of the 21st century. This building is undoubtedly the most important project of our careers" (PA, 1/31). FOOTBALL ESPANA reported the presentation highlighted how Madrid will increase 30% of the stadium’s income, though it "remains unclear whether that will include increased capacity." It has been claimed that the €400M funding for the project "will come from naming rights and from bonds from shareholders" (FOOTBALL ESPANA, 2/1). MARCA reported Pérez said, "The time has come to face new challenges." The president "then went on to describe the project in more detail." Pérez: "The stadium will boast a roof and will have a generally more modern façade. Moreover, its construction will be compatible with the competitions to be played. Our commitment is to continue increasing the value of our club. In this way we will become economically more solid and in this way continue to be leaders in an increasingly competitive environment. We are committed to a project that will promote our image, brand and city, of which we are proud" (MARCA, 1/31). In Madrid, Marco Ruiz reported Real Madrid fan association AVM, which "consists primarily of shareholders," released a statement that said, "We believe that club members are those who should democratically decide on this in a referendum given the importance of the project. The AVM estimates that with a debt as high as Madrid's -- €541M ($729M) -- the cost of this project is excessive and the scheduled duration is uncomfortable." AVP President Carlos Mendoza said, "One has to take into account that in the last decade, Madrid's revenues were increasing by 12% per year, but dried up in the last year (they only rose 1%). With so much debt and these circumstances, those who have supported the club for more than 110 years, the members, could lose ownership of the club" (AS, 2/2).

Constructor Odebrecht said that it has "removed the giant roofing structure that destroyed part of the World Cup stadium in Sao Paulo after a crane collapsed last year," according to the AP. Odebrecht said that it cleared the "500-ton metal structure on Thursday," about two months after it crumbled along with the crane, "killing two workers and causing significant damage" to Corinthians stadium, which will host the World Cup opener on June 12. Odebrecht said in a statement that, "with the metal structure out of the way, it can begin repair work in the damaged area." Corinthians stadium "is one of the five stadiums yet to be completed for the World Cup." It is "expected to be finalized in mid-April, nearly two months before Brazil hosts Croatia to open football's showcase event" (AP, 1/30).