Real Madrid unveils Bernabéu’s state of the art retractable pitch

By Carlos Mateos Gil

Madrid, Dec 15 (EFE).- Real Madrid FC has revealed a state of the art retractable pitch system at their revamped Santiago Bernabéu stadium, which will allow the space to quickly adapt to myriad sporting and cultural events.

Teaser videos have been released displaying the cutting edge system which stores the lawn in vertical trays placed on top of each other in a large chamber that maintains the grass in ideal conditions and in tip top condition in between events and matches.

“Any stadium that removes the lawn was designed for that purpose. That determines everything. But what about existing stadiums or those where you cannot remove the grass? The main advantage of our system is that we can install it anywhere. Whether on an existing building or one to be built in the future,” said Jorge Vizcaya, SENER project manager, the company leading the Bernabéu development project.

Up until now, the way to momentarily remove the pitch was by storing it outside the stadium. But this still left clubs with the challenges of storing the lawn and protecting it from the weather.

“One of the main reasons for launching the patent is that we believe it offers significant profitability,” Vizcaya added. “The intention is to help teams scale up. Its benefits justify the construction costs.”

When the brainstorming for the project began, engineers were toying with the idea of creating an artificial wave system within the stadium, but in order to create this the pitch would first have to be removed and stored. Which is how they came to have their eureka moment with the creation of an environmentally sensitive chamber, dubbed the Hypogeum, — ancient structures, the most famous of which is found in Rome’s Colosseum — that would store the lawn safely.

Water sports could still be hosted in the Bernabéu, all that would be required is the installation of water containers.

The spectacular pitch will not require a special grass and its assembly and installation costs have been kept tightly under wraps.

“We are delighted. It is a super team, one of the most recognized brands in the world, not just sports. All Real Madrid coaches are fantastic people, very prepared and demanding, very much in line with the club’s own history. They have it in their DNA. In the end, that’s how triumphs are achieved,” says Vizcaya.

“The stadiums of the future will be similar to Madrid’s ethos. It will stop being a stadium and will be a large multi-event venue, located in city centers. It will be important that the roof, lighting and ventilation can be controlled, that it can be reached afoot. The future Bernabéu is the model to follow,” the expert concluded. EFE


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