The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is a football stadium in Madrid, Spain. With a current seating capacity of 81,044, it has been the home stadium of Real Madrid since its completion in 1947. It is the 2nd-largest stadium in Spain and the largest in the Community of Madrid.
The Santiago Bernabéu is one of the world's most famous football venues. It has hosted the final of the European Cup/UEFA Champions League on four occasions: in 1957, 1969, 1980, 2010. The final matches for the 1964 European Nations' Cup and the 1982 FIFA World Cup, were also held at the Bernabéu, making it the first stadium in Europe to host both a UEFA Euro final and a FIFA World Cup final.
The Bernabéu is the quintessential modern stadium that is built in a ‘Bowl Style’ rather the old school ‘English Style’ of having four distinct stands on each side of the pitch. The stadium is still basically four-sided, however, so here’s a little bit of information about each side:
Fonde Nord - The North Stand is, like the rest of the stadium, massive. It’s so big, in fact, that when it was originally expanded in the mid-1990s the pitch suffered due to a lack of light. Away fans normally sit in the North-East corner of the ground.
Lateral Este - The East Stand was expanded and renovated between 2001 and 2006, costing around €127 million. That’s more than the ground originally cost to build.
Fondo Sur - The South Stand is also considered to be the stadium’s main stand even though it has the smallest capacity of all sections within the ground. It’s where the dugouts are, though, as well as the changing rooms and a large section of executive seating.
Lateral Oeste - This is pretty much a replica of The North Stand and is behind the other goal.
Away fans are usually confined to a small section of seating within the fourth tier of the north-east corner which is accessible via Tower (Torre) D.
Spanish Football doesn’t really have the same away fan culture as some other European countries so it’s not uncommon for the number of visiting supporters to be less than a few hundred. In September 2014 there were press reports that of the 350 tickets allocated to Atletico Madrid for the local derby only 30 had been purchased which is almost incomprehensible in the United Kingdom.
Thankfully the size of the away section is increased during Champions Leagues nights with Manchester United allocated a sizeable 3,800 tickets for their mouth-watering quarter-final clash in 2013.
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is located on the large tree lined Paseo de la Castellana avenue, one of Madrid’s principal arteries. The area around the stadium is a mix of mostly offices, shops, and residential buildings, but there are enough bars and coffee shops mixed in to find something to eat or drink.
La Esquina del Bernabéu is a shopping centre built directly adjacent to the stadium and offers a small food court and some fast food outlets. A little further south is a branch of the El Corte Inglés department store chain. The number of bars and restaurants increase while you walk south in the direction of Madrid’s centre. Most nightlife is in the northern parts of the centre.
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is in central Madrid on the Paseo de la Castellana, one of Madrid’s principal avenues. The stadium lies about 4 kilometres north of the Plaza de Cibeles.
The stadium is best reached by metro line 10. Stop Santiago Bernabeu lies right next to the stadium. In the centre, line 10 can be caught at Plaza de España or Tribunales but can otherwise be reached with a transfer (e.g. line 1 from Puerta del Sol or Atocha train station).
From metro station Callao in the city centre, one can take bus 147. Take the bus in the direction of Barrio del Pilar and get off at Plaza Lima. From Puerta del Sol one can take bus 150 in the direction of Colonia Virgen del Cortijo. Again, get off at Plaza Lima.
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