Atletico open to letting Real play home games at their stadium


Atletico open to letting Real play home games at their stadium
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid - Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - September 28, 2019 Real Madrid players pose for a team group photo before the match REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has said he would be happy for fierce city rivals Real Madrid to play their final games of this season at Atleti’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium while Real renovate the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real decided to accelerate renovation work to the Bernabeu and play their remaining home matches at their training ground when the season restarts after being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as games were expected to be played without fans.

But the Spanish government are now open to allowing spectators back into stadiums at a reduced capacity once all regions in the country have been given the all-clear to hold mass gatherings again.

The U-turn means title rivals Barcelona could be playing in front of around 30,000 fans at the Camp Nou but Real face the prospect of only being cheered on by 1,800 fans at the 6,000-capacity Alfredo Di Stefano stadium at their training base.

Speaking at an event on Wednesday, Atletico chief Cerezo was asked if Real could play at his side’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium as a solution.

“No-one should doubt that we are ready to help out Real Madrid,” Cerezo said.

Real once loaned Atletico their Santiago Bernabeu stadium for the first match of the 1996-97 season as the pitch at Atleti’s Vicente Calderon was unplayable.

Real’s renovation works to the Bernabeu, which are due to be completed by 2023, are costing the club an estimated 575 million euros ($654.52 million) and include installing a retractable roof and pitch plus a 360-degree scoreboard.

The stadium will also be wrapped in a titanium facade although there will be no change to the ground’s capacity of 81,000.

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