Real Madrid assembly approve $255 million more for stadium renovation

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Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium undergoes renovation work in Madrid, Spain, November 18, 2021. REUTERS/Susana Vera

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MADRID, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Spanish soccer club Real Madrid's general assembly approved on Saturday a new 225 million euro ($255 million) loan to complete the renovation of its Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

As reported by Reuters on Thursday, Real Madrid will increase the size of its structured finance deal with JP Morgan and Bank of America, initially agreed in 2019 for 575 million euros. read more

The deal will now be worth 800 million euros and will enable the club to add a state-of-the-art retractable hybrid pitch that can be moved underground to a 24-metre deep greenhouse so the main venue can be used for more purposes, generating additional revenue without spoiling the grass.

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Club president Florentino Perez told the assembly the underground greenhouse was the only solution the club found to preserve the playing field so that the stadium could be transformed from a purely soccer venue into an year-round event centre and attraction.

"Santiago Bernabeu stadium will be an architectural icon and an international avant-garde symbol that will become one of the most attractive places in Madrid and Europe," he said.

The project is expected to boost the club's revenues from the Bernabeu operation alone to 400 million euros a year from 150 million euros now, one club source said.

Perez didn't say how much interest the club will pay on the new loan but in a meeting with a group of club members on Wednesday he said it would be below 2%, a source present at the meeting told Reuters.

Real Madrid has increased its revenues seven-fold in the last decade, and the club ended 2020 with an overall surplus of 900,000 euros despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Reporting by Fernando Kallas; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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