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Watch: Real Madrid release stunning update video of Bernabeu retractable pitch

Real Madrid's €1billion ($1bn; £862m) renovation of their historic Santiago Bernabeu stadium is nearly complete, with a full-capacity crowd returning for the first time in early September's 2-1 win over Getafe.

Summer signing Jude Bellingham's 95th-minute winner in La Liga tested the newly updated futuristic structures of the Bernabeu, which has been under reconstruction since 2019.

One of the most fascinating and impressive feats of the Real Madrid stadium upgrade is the inclusion of a pitch removal and storage system, and now Los Blancos shared a video demonstrating the remarkable new pitch technology at the Bernabeu.

Watch: Stunning pitch technology after Real Madrid stadium upgrade

Why do Real Madrid have a removal pitch system at the Santiago Bernabeu?

In essence, the Bernabeu's removal pitch will allow the stadium to be used for non-footballing events at all times of the year.

Football stadia have long been used for large-scale concerts and other major sporting events, but often leading to the furore of groundsmen across the world whose hard work is ruined as a result.

In the video above, Real Madrid demonstrate how the pitch can, in six separate sections, be stored well beneath the surface and be kept in a suitable environment with temperature and light control. The underground storage facility is, effectively, a greenhouse.

In fact, even outside of large-scale events, the pitch will be stored underground when Los Blancos are not in action to help produce the perfect playing surface.

What else is new after the Real Madrid stadium renovation?

Well, there's not just a removable pitch. There's also a removable roof.

The Santiago Bernabeu can now be permanently covered with a retractable roof. This particular element of the ground is made up of two huge, 800-tonne panels which can come over the pitch.

The roof was kept closed for Real Madrid's first home game of this 2023/24 La Liga season against Getafe.

Elsewhere, the stadium's exterior has undergone a major revamp to produce a truly futuristic, spaceship-esque appearance unique to the footballing world.

 

How big is the Real Madrid pitch at the Santiago Bernabeu?

Real Madrid play on a European standard size pitch measuring at 115 x 74 yards.

How much did the Real Madrid stadium renovation cost?

It's thought the total cost of planning and construction will exceed the €1billion ($1bn; £862m) mark.

Who designed the Real Madrid stadium upgrade?

Two Spanish studios, L35 and Ribas & Ribas and the German studio GMP Architecten.

Back in 1947 upon the stadium's original construction, the architects Manuel Muñoz Monasterio and Luis Alemany Soler were behind the plans.

Further reading on the Real Madrid stadium renovation:

Football Ground Guide: Real Madrid stadium upgrade: Santiago Bernabeu gets facelift

The Athletic: Real Madrid’s €1bn rebuild of the Bernabeu is fun, futuristic – and almost finished

Football Ground Guide: Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu

Real Madrid: The future Santiago Bernabeu

Managing Madrid: Date Revealed for Inauguration of the New Santiago Bernabeu


Harry Robinson

A freelance writer and broadcaster, Harry has worked for or featured in/on Manchester United, FourFourTwo, The Independent, The Manchester Mill, UEFA, United We Stand and many others. He's the author of The Men Who Made Manchester United and hosts the Manchester United Weekly Podcast and United Through Time. A Stretford End season ticket holder, Harry travels around Europe to watch his team.

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