Soccer | Real Madrid

Bernabéu back in action

The Real Madrid stadium is finally ready to see some live action after over a year. There's still a ways to go, but Real Madrid finally returns home Sunday.

Back in March of 2020, Sergio Ramos and Real Madrid beat Lionel Messi and Barcelona 2-0 at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Who would have guessed that Messi and Ramos would both be playing for PSG and no one would see the inside of that stadium again for 550 more days? Times have changed.

Though the stadium is not nearly finished, it will make its premiere on Sunday when Real Madrid play Celta Vigo. Since the El Clásico game in the 2019/20 season, the Real Madrid team has been playing home games at the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium so that the Bernabéu could continue its construction process uninterrupted and hopefully be ready sooner.

It's definitely been strange for Madrid fans to see the 13-time European champions playing at a tiny, mere 6,000-seat stadium. This weekend, they finally return to their proper home at the Bernabéu. Along with the stadium's new debut, Madrid fans will also get to see newly-signed David Alaba and Eduardo Camavinga play for the first time with the team, as well as Gareth Bale, who makes his return for the team this season.

When will the project be complete?

The $710 million project won't be one hundred percent complete at least until the beginning of the 2022/23 season. For now though, the field is prepared and everything is functional. Once finished, the stadium will boast a retractable roof as well as a retractable field, making it multi-functional and allowing the stadium to host events 300 days out of the year. It will eventually be able to seat 85,000 fans. As of now, it could fit around 50,000, but Covid 19 guidelines prohibit that large of a crowd. The maximum fans allowed to enter on Sunday is 30,000.

The game will take place this Sunday, September 12th at 3pm ET.