Real Madrid have earmarked €100 million for the digital transformation of their Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
The Spanish football giants are embarking on a €525 million renovation of their iconic home – and tech is at the heart of the plans.
According to Palco23, a new contract between Real and Telefónica will make the telecoms firm one of the club’s biggest sponsors.
Telefónica previously had a deal with the club which expired at the end of last season.
“It is a contract that goes far beyond the simple economic consideration for advertising – it is going to be a key alliance in the digital transformation of the stadium,” a source told Palco23.
Telefónica installed the technological infrastructure at city rivals Atletico’s new Wanda Metropolitano stadium.
Atletico recently extended their tech deal with Telefónica until 2024.
Real president Florentino Perez has revealed €100m will be spent on tech and innovation, with plans including free Wi-Fi access at the 81,000-capacity ground, a 360-degree video scoreboard, a dedicated space for eSports and an interactive museum showing the club’s history in full virtual reality.
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It will take the European champions 35 years to pay off the debt it will accrue developing the new-look Bernabeu – but they are getting plenty of bang for their buck.
The outside of the Bernabeu will have a layer of steel bands that can light up, while there will also be a retractable roof.
Perez has promised it will generate €150m a year in additional revenue.
Perez also said that €300m of the funds would improve the area around the Bernabeu and include “digital points of sale of the most prestigious electronics and consumer brands… this will turn common areas into a showcase for global news”.