Real Madrid unveil plans for 'digital stadium of the future'


Visualization of the remodeled Santiago Bernabeu stadium is seen in this handout picture released on April 2, 2019 . Real Madrid/Handout via REUTERS

MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid's planned stadium renovation will provide fresh sources of income for the club, president Florentino Perez said on Tuesday at the unveiling of designs for a revamped Santiago Bernabeu.

The facelift is expected to be completed by 2023 and will cost an estimated 525 million euros, although it will not lead to an increase in capacity on the current 81,000 spectators.

Last September club members approved Real going into debt of up to 575 million euros for 30 to 35 years to pay for the modernisation plan.

"We want this to be a great digital stadium of the future, and it will be paid for by the income its renovation will provide, and it will make Real Madrid more competitive at a time when the footballing landscape is becoming ever less certain," Perez said.

A retractible roof will be built, and the stadium will be wrapped in a titanium facade, while a 360 degree scoreboard will also be installed.

Pedestrian areas will be built along with an expanded megastore and museum as well as restaurants and bars, to generate more revenue for the 13-times European champions.

Perez said details of how the project will be financed will be revealed next week, adding that construction will begin at the end of this season.

Real Madrid's rivals Barcelona are also undertaking a revamp of their stadium which will increase the Nou Camp's capacity from 99,000 to 105,000 and is set to be finished by the 2023/2024 season.

(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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