Stadium Tours: Santiago Bernabeu (History, Capacity, Key Facts)

Football stadiums or grounds are somewhat directly proportional to the clubs they host in the world of football. They are, sometimes, a key factor to the success of their parent clubs and as well as the visiting teams. The sheer size, architectural designs, and history of these stadiums are what make them what they are.

Here, Zenox Sports will be doing a tour of one of the most famous and iconic stadiums the world of football has ever seen. our concentration will be on the Santiago Bernabeu. The home ground of Spanish La Liga side Real Madrid.

Stadium Tours: Santiago Bernabeu (History, Capacity, Key Facts)

Santiago Bernabeu Profile

Full Name: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu
Club: Real Madrid CF
Capacity: 81,044 seats
Date Opened:  1947
Dimension: 105 X 68 m
Lighting:  1.800 Lux
Surface Mixto Hybrid Grass Technology
Record attendance: 129,690 (Real Madrid-AC Milan, 19 April 1956)
Address: Avda. de Concha Espina 1, 28036; Madrid – España

The Santiago Bernabeu is a football stadium located in the Spanish city of Madrid. It has been the home ground of Real Madrid since its inception in 1947.

The Santiago Bernabeu is a well-known football ground and one of the most prestigious and iconic stadiums in the world of sport. The stadium is, without doubt, a truly magnificent sight to behold for anyone, not just a sports lover.

The stadium has witnessed some of the greatest moments in modern football. It played host to four European Cup or UEFA Champions League finals: 1957, 1969, 1980 and 2010. The 1964 European Nations’ Cup and the 1982 FIFA World Cup final matches were also held at the Bernabéu. Recently, the stadium hosted the second leg of the 2018 Copa Libertadores Final between River Plate and Boca Juniors. This makes Santiago Bernabeu the first stadium in Europe to host both a UEFA European Championship, a FIFA World Cup final and a Copa Libertadores final.

History and Description

Real Madrid started playing at Campo De O’Donnell in the early parts of the 20th but had to move to Campo de Chamartín in 1924 having. Due to the increase in popularity, Chamartin became too small for Real Madrid and the decision for a new stadium was made in 1943.

This new stadium was constructed on the same site of Campo de Chamartín. Construction began on October 27th, 1944 on a bare patch of ground and ended on the 14th of December 1947.

Upon inauguration, the stadium was named Chamartín Stadium and then changed to its current name eight years later.  The stadium was renamed to Santiago Bernabéu on January 4th, 1955 in honor of the club’s president at the time.

The Santiago Bernabeu current capacity is around 85,454 spectators. However, Real Madrid presented plans to further upgrade the stadium with commercial and corporate facilities and to increase capacity to over 90,000 seats. This renovation will make the stadium become the third largest stadium in the world and one of the most modern era.

Key facts

  • The stadium was first opened in on 14th December 1947
  • The stadium’s initial capacity is set around 75,145 spectators
  • The stadium is named after Real Madrid former president Santiago Bernabéu.
  • The first game played was between Real Madrid  and Portuguese side OS Belenenses the game ended 3 – 1
  • Sabino Barinaga was the first player to score in the new stadium.
  • In 2007, the 1,000th match was played at the Santiago Bernabéu.
  • The highest attendance recorded in the stadium is 129,690  in a match between Real Madrid and AC Milan, 19 April 1956

Classic match at Bernabeu


In this game, Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 100th and 101st Champions League goals for Real Madrid. The Los Blancos came from behind to secure a late 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in their last-16 first-leg tie at the Bernabeu.

Adrien Rabiot fired PSG ahead in the 33rd minute but Ronaldo equalized on the stroke of half-time from the penalty spot. This made Portuguese international the first player to score a hundred goals for a single club in Europe’s elite club competition.

PSG dominated the second half but were made to pay for not converting their chances by a more clinical Madrid. Ronaldo’s second (83) was followed by a third from Marcelo (86) to give the 12-time winners a healthy lead ahead of the return leg in Paris on March 6.

A tour of Bernabeu

Renovation Plan

The renovation of the stadium is expected to cost  €525 million and it was scheduled for the summer of only for it to be delayed till Mid 2019. There are going to be massive addition according to the proposed plan for the renovation of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

The current roof of the stadium will be stripped back and replaced with a new, retractable one. This is backed by an incredible video of the proposed Bernabeu released by Real Madrid last year.

There will be a complete change to the outlook of the iconic stadium, from the outside there will be an addition of metallic skin exterior.

The stadium is supposed to have more restaurants, a shopping center, and a hotel, with some rooms having a view of the pitch.  This added attraction sites will be used all day round even when there are no matches.

There will be some rearrangement of areas around the Bernabéu: the Plaza de los Sagrados Corazones will be removed to be replaced by 6,000 square meters of gardens.

There will be no increase to the 81,044 capacity of the ground but the total height will be boosted by just 10m.

Real Madrid are hoping to begin the renovation project, which could take up to four years, before the end of this year.

The Author

Oludare Enny

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