Much more than just a football stadium, in 2013, the Whites' fans' temple aims to become an up-market multi-function complex which will include not just a thoroughly modern hotel, but also a shopping and entertainment centre.
According to reports by the Spanish newspaper ABC, the project will completely transform the facade of the stadium that faces onto Paseo de la Castellana, one of the Spanish capital's main thoroughfares. The club's president, Florentino Perez, plans to hold a competition where top-level international architects can present their ideas on how they imagine Bernabeu in the twenty-first century. Names being mentioned include Rafael Moneo, Santiago Calatrava and Ieoh Ming Pei, the Chinese American architect who is the master mind behind such projects as the John F. Kennedy Library, the Louvre pyramid and Madrid's Space Tower skyscraper.
The stadium area being looked at is currently used for car parking and temporary stalls on match days, but talk suggests the project is far more all-encompassing than just rehabilitating this zone. The installation of a stadium roof is envisaged, as well as the transformation of the current corner retail zone into a green space.
The three restaurants that Real Madrid has opened in the stadium, the Corner Grill, Gate 57 and Real Cafe Bernabeu are not expected to be affected. Indeed, there is talk of the club opening a fourth restaurant in the near future. As with the restaurants, the new hotel is expected to command fine views of the Bernabeu pitch, and guests will be able to follow games from the comfort of the hotel lounges. Naturally, the price of rooms will be significantly higher on days when the Whites are playing at home.