Tristan Lopez Chicheri, the man in charge of the renovation of the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, has confirmed that construction within the stadium will begin this summer with the view of reducing disruptions of the sporting schedule at the venue.
The reigning European champions unveiled plans to revamp their home, which will feature a retractable roof, late last year with the project set to cost the club 400 million euros.
And the director insists the stadium will be built in order to replicate the techniques used by the Romans in building the Colosseum.
“The project is complex because it will not stop the football and therefore complicates the works and design, which has a roof that encloses the whole stadium,” he said.
“They are going to lift the roof like the Romans did, but with modern technology. They will raise the inner ring by string-pulling with hydraulic jacks, bridge technology and ski lifts in a short period of time in the summer to respect the sporting calendar.
“If things go well, we’ll start this summer, when the league is over, and it will take about three seasons. With such a complex project, it’s not easy to give an exact time.”
Chicheri believes the renovations will turn the arena into a world-class venue which will draw tourists there even when a match isn’t played.
With seating and concourses also part of the plan, an additional increase in restaurants, a new hotel and a shopping centre will elevate it among the best stadia in the world.
“It is not only on matchdays that it will be used – there are venues like the Bernabeu that are in the middle of the city and it is a shame that they have no life beyond 35-40 matches a year,” noted Chicheri.
“The stadium will have improved seats, boxes, matchday zones. But it will have more restaurants, will have a hotel and shopping centre, which is what was originally planned.”