Florentino Perez has held three meetings with the Madrid City Council in order to salvage his plans for the New Bernabéu Stadium, the remodelling work of which was halted by the courts (the Ruiz-Villar family and Ecologistas en Acción) and has resulted in a European Commission-imposed fine (between 20 and 25 million euros). The club’s members approved a motion to cover the stadium in 2012 (Florentino had been promising a retractable roof since 2004) because it was sold to them on the basis of increasing the stadium’s occupancy by 5,000 seats. Also part of the promised plan was the inclusion of a commercial centre and a hotel on La Castellana (the main road that runs along the ground’s west stand) which would increase revenue by 30%. With no intention of consulting the members, who meet annually every September, Florentino is now planning on presenting a new proposal to the City Council before the summer. The reconstruction, which is budgeted at 400 million euros, would still include the same exterior design but at the cost of 2,500 seats.
In addition, the hotel would only contain 60 rooms instead of the 150 initially proposed (shirking from 12,500m² to 6,500m²) and would instead be located on the east side of the stadium.
Naming rights. “The Bernabéu will be called IPIC or Cepsa… Whatever they want”, Florentino was caught telling Popular Party politician Lucía Figar. The sponsorship deal with IPIC, which runs until 2019, was reached just after the City Council approved the remodelling project, which was subsequently blocked by the courts. Now, with no reforms to the urban planning laws, it is impossible to expand upwards an extra 15 metres without taking out seats…
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