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Real Madrid Will Rename Bernabéu Stadium to Fund Redesign

Real Madrid will sell naming rights to its Bernabéu stadium to pay for most of the costs of a 400 million-euro ($518 million) redesign of the arena, the soccer team’s President Florentino Perez said.

The stadium will take the name of a sponsor alongside the Bernabéu name it has had since 1955, Perez said after a news conference to present the European champion’s latest financial results. He said the club is in talks with suitors, without identifying them.

The arena takes its current name from Santiago Bernabéu, who was a player and coach for Real Madrid, and then its president for 35 years through 1978. The club won six of its 10 European titles during the period.

Real Madrid is following teams including Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal and Manchester City which have deals to name their stadiums after companies. Etihad Airways PJSC in 2011 agreed to pay City more than 300 million pounds ($489 million) over 10 years.

Perez said work on the redesign, which includes a proposed hotel and shopping center, is being held up by a complaint by a conservation group although construction could begin next year.

Real Madrid’s net income for the year through June — during which it won the Champions League for the first time since 2002 — rose by 4 percent to 38.5 million euros ($50 million). Sales, excluding transfer amortizations, increased by 5.5 percent, to 549.6 million euros.

See original story here.

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