November 14 – Real Madrid’s shareholders greenlighted the board to raise a further €370 million loan to complete the renovation of the club’s Bernabéu stadium.
Including the new loan, Real Madrid’s stadium costs have now ballooned to more than €1 billion from an initial budget of €575 million.
The move to pass the loan was pretty much unanimous with 1,569 delegates voting in favour, 35 against and 38 abstentions.
Addressing members, Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez made a pitch for the Bernabéu to be the venue for the final of the 2030 World Cup to be co-hosted with Portugal and Morocco.
“About the World Cup final 2030. Well, surely, right? There won’t be another better stadium. Right? The Bernabéu is not only going to change Real Madrid, but all of Madrid. All the reforms have been done so that people use the stadium every day and we don’t have to survive on the 26 days that football is played there. Well, listen, I think we won’t have competition (to host the final),” he said.
Defending the costs of the renovations, Pérez said “the Bernabéu is one of the most difficult works to execute in Europe and will be one of the largest tourist centres in the capital. We must be aware of the efforts that have been made, surpassing “Covid, the consequences of inflation due to the war in Ukraine or the increase in the cost of oil. The construction industry has suffered, making the challenge even more complex. It affected the deadlines and costs of the work.”
A key feature of the stadium will be the grass pitch that can be removed to allow the venue to be used for other events.
On the details of the loan, Pérez said: “We have decided to finance it in the long term, so as not to suffer impacts in the short term. Hence, requesting a third loan, a maximum of €370 million and a maximum period of 30 years… The transformation of the stadium is the starting point for the future.”
The news that Real Madrid were looking to raise a further €370 million from banks broke at the same time the club announced the Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB) as its new official bank in Saudi Arabia, though not as a lending partner.
The club is looking to secure the loan against ticketing revenue with a percentage of ticket money repaying the debt and the interest. All is not financial doom and gloom for Real Madrid. The club could receive up to €500 million from an underground car parking scheme over the next 40 years.
Though that, with so much else surrounding Real Madrid, is currently held up in the courts.
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com