Santiago Bernabéu Stadium

Santiago Bernabéu Stadium

Location Av. de Concha Espina 1, 28036 Madrid, Spain
Coordinates 40°27′11″N 3°41′18″W / 40.45306°N 3.68835°W / 40.45306; -3.68835 (The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium)Coordinates: 40°27′11″N 3°41′18″W / 40.45306°N 3.68835°W / 40.45306; -3.68835 (The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium)
Owner Real Madrid C.F
Operator Real Madrid
Executive suites 245
Capacity 85,454[1]
Field size 105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
Surface Mixto Hybrid Grass Technology
Opened 14 December 1947 (1947-12-14)
Renovated 1982, 2001
Expanded 1953, 1992, 1994, 2011
Construction cost 288,342,653 Ptas (€1,732,943)
Architect Manuel Ronaldo MuMonasterio
Luis Alemany Soler
Antonio Lamela (Expansion)
Real Madrid

The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium (Spanish: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu [esˈtaðjo sanˈtjaɣo βernaˈβeu̯]), is the current home stadium of Real Madrid.

Santiago Bernabeu is one of the world's most famous and prestigious football venues. It has hosted the European Cup final on four occasions: in 1957, 1969, 1980, the UEFA Champions League Final in 2010.[2] The final matches for the 1964 European Nations' Cup and the 1982 FIFA World Cup were also held at the Bernabéu.


The stadium is located in the district of Chamartín of Madrid. It occupies the block bounded by the Paseo de la Castellana and the streets of Concha Espina, Padre Damián, and Rafael Salgado. Nearest subway station is Santiago Bernabéu on the Line 10.


Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium

On 22 June 1944, the Banco Mercantil e Industrial bank granted a credit to Santiago Bernabéu and Rafael Salgado for the purchase of the land adjacent to the old Ramin Amin. On 5 September 1944, architects Manuel Muñoz Monasterio and Luis Alemany Soler were hired and the structure on the site began to give way to the new stadium. On 27 October 1944, construction work on the stadium began.

The Nuevo Estadio Chamartín (English: New Chamartín Stadium) was inaugurated on 14 December 1947 with a match between Real Madrid and the Portuguese side Os Belenenses, which resulted in a 3–1 victory for Los Blancos.[3] The stadium had an initial capacity of 75,145 spectators, 27,645 of which had seats (7,125 covered) and 47,500 for standing fans. Sabino Barinaga was the first player to score in the new stadium.

The 1950s

The first major renovation occurred in 1955. On 19 June of that year, the stadium expanded to accommodate 125,000 spectators. Thus, the Madrid coliseum became the biggest stadium of all the participants of the newly established European Cup.

On 4 January 1955, after the General Assembly of Members Compromisaros, it was decided that the stadium adopt its present name in honour of club President Santiago Bernabéu.

In May 1957, Real Madrid used electric stadium lighting in a game against Sport Recife of Brazil.

The 1980s

The next big changes did not occur until the early 1980s with the hosting of the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain. The stadium had to adapt to the changing times and with this, architects Rafael Luis Alemany and Manuel Salinas were hired for the stadium's renovation project. The brothers were sons of Luis Alemany Soler, who carried out the original construction project next to Muñoz Monasterio. The work lasted 16 months and had a cost of 704 million pesetas (US $4.7 million), of which 530 million was paid by the City of Madrid.

The improvements included a number of points. First, FIFA forced two-thirds of the seating area to be covered. For this reason, Real Madrid installed a roof covering the perimeter of the first and second tiers of seating, except the east side. The stadium's capacity was reduced from 120,000 to 90,800 spectators, 24,550 of which were covered by the new roof. The project also involved remodeling the façade, the installation of new electronic signs in the north and south ends, as well as the renovation of the press areas, lockers rooms, access, and ancillary areas.

The stadium hosted four matches in the World Cup: three second-round Group Two matches (West Germany vs. England, West Germany vs. Spain, and Spain vs. England) and the prestigious final match between Italy and West Germany.

The 1990s

Following a series of spectator fatalities in the 1980s (most notably the Heysel Stadium in Belgium and the Hillsborough Stadium in England), English authorities released the Taylor Report on how to improve football spectator safety in English venues. UEFA followed suit across Europe. The stadium was forced to create separate shortcuts to different stadium sections and seats for all spectators. In the 1990s, the Santiago Bernabéu went through a large expansion and remodeling. The board of Ramón Mendoza awarded the project to Gines Navarro Construcciones, S.A.

West facade of the stadium

The work started on 7 February 1992 and concluded on 7 May 1994 with a final cost of more than five billion pesetas, substantially raising the debt of the club, having no institutional support.

The work concluded with the creation of an amphitheater on the west side and in the foundations, coupled with the existing building by using hydraulic jacks.

In total, 20,200 upgraded seats were installed, with each seat having a tilt of 87 degrees, ensuring a perfect view and proximity to the pitch. In addition, to access the new ring, four entrance towers were erected on the outside, each with two staircases and a central spiral ramp.

With the new structure, the height of the stadium was increased from 22 m to 45 m. This caused problems during the winter, leaving two-thirds of the field of play in the shade. This lack of sunlight led to grass deterioration on the pitch. For this reason, a polypropylene pipe network was installed at a 20 cm depth under the pitch. At over 30 km long the pipe system circulates hot water, keeping the turf from freezing in cold temperatures.

Also, due to the height of the stand, it was necessary to improve and increase the lighting capability. A retractable protective roof was also installed to protect the fans from the elements. After the renovation, the stadium's capacity was 110,000 spectators.

Already in the summer of 1998, and chaired by Lorenzo Sanz, the Santiago Bernabéu adopted an all-seating arrangement, bringing its capacity down to 75,328 spectators.

Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
Real Madrid C.F. against Borussia Dortmund at the stadium in the UEFA Champions League in 2013


View of the stadium during the Madrid derby, October 2006

As a club representing the rich and the powerful of Spain, Real Madrid has a very demanding clientele.[4] When Florentino Pérez became the president of the club, he launched a "master plan" with one goal: to improve the comfort of the Santiago Bernabéu and the quality of its facilities, and maximise revenue for the stadium.

Pérez invested 127 million in five years (2001–2006) by adding an expansion to the east side of the stadium, as well adding a new façade on Father Damien street, new costumes, new boxes and VIP areas, a new stage in honour of the east side, a new press area (also located on the east side), a new audio system, new bars, integration of heating in the stands, panoramic lifts, new restaurants, escalators in the tower access, and implementation of the multipurpose building in Father Damien street.

Santiago Bernabéu Stadium exterior

Following the enlargement of the lateral east side and the creation of new galleries, the capacity of the Santiago Bernabéu was 80,354, all seated.

In 2007, the 1,000th game was played at the Santiago Bernabéu. In addition, the latest revision of UEFA on 27, on the occasion of Champions League match against Olympiacos, served as a final step to give the Santiago Bernabéu elite stadium status on 14 November 2007, a month before the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the inauguration of the stadium. UEFA announced that the club will officially rename the elite stadium.

Pérez proposed construction of a retractable roof before he resigned in 2005. In 2009, following the re-election of Pérez as the club president, it was announced that the roof construction was looking unlikely due to the financial situation of the club. According to Spanish sports newspaper Marca, however, Pérez wants to restructure Santiago Bernabéu. According to the newspaper, the architect in charge will be chosen from among a shortlist of Spanish architects Santiago Calatrava and Pritzker Prize-winner Rafael Moneo, and Chinese-American Ieoh Ming Pei, also a Pritzker winner.[5]


The last change was a small increase to a capacity of 85,454, effected in 2011.

On 16 October 2013, Pérez announced that Real is seeking to sell the naming rights for its stadium and looking for a sponsor for the €400 million project.[6] The proposed design of the stadium renovation, produced by German architects GMP, was unveiled on 31 January 2014. The bold design includes a retractable roof, with the overall cost of around €400m likely to be met half via the sale of naming rights and half via a bond issue to Real members according to Spanish media reports. Pérez was quoted as commenting "We want to make the Santiago Bernabéu the best stadium in the world".[7][8] Real Madrid then announced a sponsorship agreement with IPIC to assist the club in the redevelopment of the stadium.[9][10][11] Pérez then said that in compliance to the agreement the name of the stadium would be renamed 'IPIC Bernabeu or CEPSA Bernabeu'.[12][13][14] The surface has been replaced with Mixto hybrid grass

Panorama of the stadium
Panorama of the stadium

Major international tournaments

EURO 1964

Santiago Bernabéu hosted three matches of the 1964 European Nations' Cup, a tournament which Spain hosted, the matches included one Qualifying match and two in the main tournament including the final. All of the matches involved Spain.

Qualifying rounds

The stadium hosted one qualifying round match against Romania, which resulted in a 6-0 win.

Main tournament

The stadium hosted two matches of the tournament, including the final.


The match was contested by the 1960 winners, the Soviet Union, and the hosts, Spain, at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid. Spain won the match 2–1, with goals coming from Jesús María Pereda and Marcelino. Galimzyan Khusainov scored for the Soviet Union.[15]

1982 FIFA World Cup

Main article: 1982 FIFA World Cup

In the 1982 World Cup held in Spain, the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium hosted four matches: three in the second round (West Germany - England, West Germany - Spain and Spain - England) as well as the final between West Germany and Italy.

Main tournament

Second round

The stadium hosted three second round matches.


The 1982 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match contested between Italy and West Germany. It was played on 11 July 1982.
After a scoreless first half during which Antonio Cabrini fired a penalty low and wide to the right of goal, Paolo Rossi scored first, heading home a bouncing Claudio Gentile cross from the right from close range. Marco Tardelli then scored from the edge of the area with a low left footed shot before Alessandro Altobelli, at the end of a counterattack by winger Bruno Conti, made it 3–0 with another low left footed shot. Italy's lead appeared secure, encouraging Italian president Sandro Pertini to wag his finger at the cameras in a playful 'not going to catch us now' gesture from the stands. Paul Breitner scored for Germany in the 83rd minute, firing low past the goalkeeper from the right, but Italy held on to claim their first World Cup title in 44 years, and their third in total with a 3–1 victory.[16]


The stadium is served by its own metro station along the Line 10 called Santiago Bernabéu. It is also served by bus routes 14, 27, 40, 43, 120, 147 and 150. The stadium is 8.2 miles (13.2 km) away from the Barajas International Airport.


  1. "Real Madrid reveal £330m design for new Bernabeu stadium". BBC. Retrieved 1 November 2015
  2. "Madrid and Hamburg awarded 2010 finals". UEFA. 28 March 2008. Archived from the original on 31 March 2008. Retrieved 28 March 2008.
  3. "Real Madrid to play 1,500th official clash at the Santiago Bernabéu". Real Retrieved 22 November 2011
  4. FourFourTwo's 100 Best Football Stadiums in the World. No.8: Santiago Bernabéu. 13 November 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016
  5. (in Spanish) Un nuevo Bernabeú galáctico. Yahoo! EuroSport, 11 September 2009.
  6. "Real Madrid "working on" Bernabeu naming rights partner – Perez". 16 October 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  7. "Real Madrid reveal £330m design for new Bernabeu stadium". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  8. Edwards, Piers (28 October 2014). "Estadio Santiago Bernabeu: The $500m stadium wrapped in a glowing 'skin'". CNN. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  9. "Real Madrid and IPIC sign agreement to renovate Bernabeu stadium". La Prensa. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  10. Duff, Alex (28 October 2014). "Real Madrid Gets Stadium Financing From Abu Dhabi's IPIC". Bloomberg. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  11. Díaz, José Félix (25 October 2014). "Bernabéu sheikh-up: Abu Dhabi coming on board". Marca. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  12. Martin, Sean (19 November 2014). "Real Madrid's Stadium to be Renamed 'IPIC Bernabeu or CEPSA Bernabeu'". International Business Times (UK). Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  13. Hall, Joe (28 January 2015). "Real Madrid stadium could be renamed "Abu Dhabi Bernabeu" due to UAE investment". CITY A.M. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  14. "Real Madrid president caught revealing IPIC stadium name". Zee News. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  15. Brewin, John (1 May 2008). "European Nations Cup 1964". ESPN. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  16. "Sparkling Italy spring ultimate upset". Glasgow Herald. 12 July 1982. Retrieved 30 April 2014.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
Events and tenants
Preceded by
Monumental de Nuñez
Buenos Aires
FIFA World Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
Preceded by
Parc des Princes
UEFA European Football Championship
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Stadio Olimpico
Preceded by
Parc des Princes
European Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Heysel Stadium
Preceded by
Wembley Stadium
European Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by
San Siro
Preceded by
European Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Parc des Princes
Preceded by
Stadio Olimpico
UEFA Champions League
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Wembley Stadium
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