Iconic Spanish soccer side Real Madrid are looking to borrow as much as €370 million ($390 million) from private investors, according to reports.
The money is said to be provided with the aim of financing the ongoing rebuild of the club’s legendary Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
It has also been reported that these loans will be paid back gradually using ticket revenue generated by the stadium, the seating of which will be expanded from 81,000 to 85,000 by the renovation.
The renovation is set to be completed towards the end of December this year, at a total cost of as much as €1 billion.
The upgraded arena will house the club’s museum, as well as an expanded array of commercial avenues from both Real Madrid merchandise outlets and points of sale for a number of renowned retailers.
The opportunities afforded by the stadium revamp would extend to hosting major events such as games in American football’s National Football League (NFL) International Series games, it is understood.
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Indeed, the NFL has sent scouts to Spain to assess the viability of hosting games in the country – and the Santiago Bernabeu stadium would be first choice.
This is due not just to the number of seats at the ground, but also the fact that the renovated ground uses a similar retractable turf system as the one used by the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London – regularly used by the NFL over the last few years – making it a perfect fit for hosting NFL games while the soccer season is underway.
Reports from Spain have also suggested that Real have renewed their agreement with sporting experiences consulting firm Legends for the company to run operations at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Legends, which currently runs operates Real Madrid’s merchandise stores, will manage the operations of the bars of the stadium and its merchandising licenses.
Legends has doubled income from Real Madrid’s physical and online stores to €52 million, prompting the club to grant the firm further influence across its merchandising business.
Earlier in October Legends, which is also partnered with real Madrid’s rivals FC Barcelona, partnered with expansion side Bay FC of North America’s National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).
The club agreed on a multi-year partnership for the firm to strategize premium seating and ticket pricing with a data-led strategy.
Legends will also conduct a digital marketing campaign to drive ticket sales for the 2024 NWSL season, which will be Bay FC’s inaugural campaign in the league.