It’s one of the images which Real Madrid fans have been waiting for – the pitch is now fully laid at the new Santiago Bernabéu. Ground Manager Paul Burgess and his dedicated team have laid the new turf in record time, which means that the stadium is now able to hold matches with the start of the new league season approaching. However, it is not the retractable pitch which will feature in the definitive project, rather a provisional installation which will allow Madrid to play home games at their own ground and not in Valdebebas while work continues in other parts of the stadium.
The new turf will have plenty of time to take root and will be in perfect conditions when Zidane’s team play their first home game. LaLiga gets underway on 11 September but Madrid, due to having played the Last 16 of the Champions League in August, have had less time to rest than other teams and started their pre-season earlier so for them, their campaign starts in Week 2 at the Reale Arena against Real Sociedad (Sunday 20 September, 21:00 CEST).
While the new pitch has been laid, other work needs to be completed before the Bernabéu can safely stage LaLiga games. Madrid’s first home game is in Week 4 – their first game, against Getafe, has been postponed for a later date and the next two games are away from home (Real Sociedad and Betis). Madrid’s first home league game is on 30 September when Valladolid visit and by then, the Bernabéu will be fully ready.
The new turf was sourced in Ávila was delivered by 20 lorries in two loads – each carrying 32 rolls of mixed turf making a total of 640 rolls.