Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is the third largest stadium of Europe and home to Real Madrid CF. It currently has a capacity of 85,454 seats.
In the early decades of the 20th century Real Madrid played first at Campo De O’Donnell and then at Campo Chamartin, when in 1943 Madrid-president Santiago Bernabéu decided that Real Madrid needed a modern 100,000-stadium to replace its too-small 25,000 ground.
Construction began in 1944 at the site of the Campo Chamartin, and on the 14th of December 1947 the stadium officially opened with a match against Portuguese champions OS Belenenses (3-1). The stadium was then still called Estadio Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, which got changed to its current name 8 years later. In the 50s the stadium got further extended to a capacity of 125,000.
The stadium was the centrepiece of the Euro 1964 Championships, hosting the semi-final and final between Spain and the Soviet Union, but in the 70s the stadium had become severely outdated and even plans were made to build a new stadium in the north of the city. However, with the perspective of the 1982 World Cup it was instead decided to renovate the Bernabéu, including the construction of a roof over three-quarters of the previously uncovered stadium and a reduction of the capacity to just below 100,000.
At the 1986 World Cup the Santiago Bernabéu hosted three matches in the second group phase and the final between Italy and West Germany (3-1).
In the 90s the stadium, with just 30,000 seats, needed a new upgrade, resulting in the construction of an extra tier, the conversion into an all-seater stadium, and the creation of VIP boxes. A series of further improvements in the early 21st century lead to the stadium as it is today.
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu has hosted four Champions League finals in its history: the first in 1957 between Real Madrid and Fiorentina (2-0), the second in 1969 between AC Milan and Ajax (4-1), the third in 1980 between Nottingham Forest and Hamburg (1-0), and the final in 2010 between Internazionale and Bayern Munich (2-0).
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is located in central Madrid, about 4 kilometres north of the city centre. It lies on the avenue Paseo de la Castellana, one of Madrid’s most important avenues which crosses the city north to south.
Address: Avenida de Concha Espina 1, Madrid
Tickets for Real Madrid games can be bought online or by phone +34 902 32 43 24.
Currently no further information exists about pricing and availability.
Real Madrid offers stadium tours that aren’t guided or in a group, but a walk through the stadium at your own pace. This walk includes the dugouts, presidential box, press room, changing rooms, players’ tunnel and trophy room, and ends in the club shop.
The stadium is opened from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm Mondays to Saturdays, and from 10:30 am to 6:30 am on Sundays and public holidays. On matchdays the tour is open until 5 hours before the match.
No reservations are required, though the tour can be booked online. It costs €16.00. For more information call +34 902 31 17 09.
Relevant Internet links:
Realmadrid.com – Official website of Real Madrid CA.
Esmadrid.com – Official guide for the city of Madrid.
Metromadrid.com – Travel information on the Madrid metro.
Emtmadrid.es – Madrid public transport information.