The secret of the new Estadio Santiago Bernabeu: A removable pitch

15 May 2020

The new Estadio Santiago Bernabeu is expected to be an architectural masterpiece and one of the most spectacular stadiums in the world.

Its wraparound outer layer and retractable roof will be its most visible hallmarks, but the best kept secret lies within the ground.

A project that is already underway is to install a new a retractable pitch to transform the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu into a multifunctional stadium, which can be used for other events, especially concerts.

To achieve this long-term plan, it is essential to install a pitch that can be removed in just a few minutes.

Since the new Real Madrid venue was designed, different projects were considered to carry out this idea.

Removing all the grass from the stadium, as in the case of Schalke‘s VELTINS-Arena, was not a feasible option given that the Bernabeu is located in the heart of the capital and there is no place to remove the entire playing field.

So, the option that was chosen was to remove the grass on parts that move by rails and lodge them somewhere inside stadium.

Coming soon

This complex and ambitious construction work will be able to continue due to the fact that Real Madrid will play the remainder of the season at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

A greenhouse cave will house the seven or eight plates of the playing surface which will be moved to the side and from there they will descend one on top of the other to be held in the ideal maintenance conditions.

The aforementioned project is rather ambitious as it will be necessary to make a kind of greenhouse construction that will create the ideal conditions of humidity and light so that the grass can be lodged underground without problems.

Works need to be done under the stadium and there are different factors that make it complicated, as damages to other city structures that pass beneath the stadium should be avoided.

Keeping the Bernabeu‘s lawn in good condition is not an easy task due to the characteristics of the stadium, which is particularly high and closed not allowing much light to reach the field.

Every year, in fact, it is changed for the new season, but with this system the maintenance of the playing pitch will be even less expensive in the long term.

The big problem that many clubs face when giving up their stadiums for concerts is undoubtedly the consequences on the grass, which does not withstand the influx of the public and hence events are held only at the end of the season.

With this formula, Real Madrid will be able to organize event during the season without the grass suffering.

The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Schalke‘s ground already use this system, yet unlike Real Madrid, both move the grass out of their facilities, while Los Blancos will house it within the premises.

Spurs use a system of plates and rails very similar to the one will be installed at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu while the Germans move out the entire pitch in about 12 hours.

Boost in business

Real Madrid maintain that the new Bernabeu will become the club’s biggest revenue asset.

For years, almost all efforts have been focused on exploit their ground to give the club a huge financial boost.

The new project was essential to fulfill a new philosophy of what a multipurpose football field should be, making it possible to have a stadium open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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