Real Madrid seek revenue boost with stadium revamp
MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid unveiled an eye-catching design for revamping their Bernabeu stadium on Friday that the world's richest club by income hopes will boost revenue from matchdays and naming rights.
Led by German architect GMP, the project would add an undulating, silver shell to the existing structure, which was completed in the 1950s and reworked for the 1982 World Cup.
The design incorporates a shopping centre and luxury hotel, additional VIP facilities and a giant 360-degree video screen just below a retractable roof that can be opened and closed in 15 minutes.
Real president Florentino Perez, a construction magnate, said the work carried an estimated price tag of 400 million euros ($543 million) but did not say when it would begin, how long it would take to complete or how it would be financed.
Local media have reported half the financing would come from selling naming rights and half from a bond issue among Real members, meaning the club would not need additional bank loans.
Work will begin at the end of this season with a completion date sometime in 2017, the reports said.
"We want it to be the world's best stadium, with the highest possible level of comfort, and an icon of progressive architecture," Perez said at a glitzy presentation ceremony.
"The best stadium, on a unique site, which will be a global symbol," he added. "A special, unique and spectacular arena."
Real earned 119 million euros in matchday revenue in the 2012-13 season out of total income of 518.9 million, according to Deloitte's latest Football Money League published this month.
Among European rivals, only English Premier League side Manchester United earned more on matchdays, reaping 127.3 million, Deloitte said.
Real's great rivals Barcelona recently announced they plan to remodel their Nou Camp stadium, which is Europe's largest and was also opened in the 1950s, by 2021 as they also seek to lift revenue.
Barca are the second-richest club by income, according to Deloitte's ranking. ($1 = 0.7373 euros)
(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Ed Osmond)