REAL MADRID

Real Madrid: The new Bernabéu filled with sand as work continues to tick along

Diario AS has been following how work on the new Santiago Bernabéu is ticking along. At the start of June, the pitch is now completely covered by sand.

It's fascinating to watch the new Bernabéu take shape during the past few weeks while football has been on hold for the coronavirus crisis. Diario AS has been closely following how construction work has been progressing. In these latest images, we can see that the entire playing surface is now covered in sand - an important component in construction - it covers the pitch, the stand which backs onto El Paseo de La Castellana, and also the south stand. In an aerial shot of the stadium, we can also observe how the ground has been excavated to a depth of between two to three metres in some areas for the installation of a modern, retractable pitch which will revolutionise the stadium for the coming decades.

Comfort, the order of the day at the new Bernabéu

As for the new seating which will be installed at some point in the future, wider, more comfortable seats will be fitted right the way the around the lower part of the stadium - seats which will 80 centimetres wide, 10 centimetres wider than the old ones. The only thing that won't change will be the colour, the new seats will be bright blue just like the old ones.

On the outside, the famous T4 (the area which housed the club offices and the room with the 13 European Cups), is close to being demolished - it will be rebuilt in a new part of the Bernabéu. The towers which will position the retractable roof are also now in place. Everything is going exactly to plan.

The Bernabéu could hold Champions League game if necessary

Now all that needs to be established is where Madrid would play their next Champions League games if they are able to turn their Last 16 tie around and beat Manchester City (they are 1-2 behind from the first leg). Josep Pedrerol mentioned on El Chiringuito that the club would hope to have the Bernabéu ready to stage a match by the first week in August - if the team reaches the quarter finals. That would give Madrid two months to lay a new pitch. As for whether UEFA would allow a 30% capacity crowd (an option which is being studied), spectators would be able to sit in upper parts, from the first tier upwards, all the way around the ground, so that would not be a problem. One thing we do know is that the six home games that remain this season in LaLiga will be played up the road at the Alfredo Di Stéfano in Valdebebas.