Real Madrid’s Iconic Bernabeu Stadium Redevelopment
As Bernabeu stadium captivates the world, Sarens is proud to be part of an all-star team
February 2024

It’s one of this century’s most remarkable feats of engineering, and Sarens is honoured to be a part of it: the redeveloped Bernabeu Stadium, home of the legendary Real Madrid football team, is taking shape as one of the most fascinating, complex, and beautiful structures in the world.

As part of a nearly billion-euro renovation project, the world-famous Bernabeu is increasing seating capacity by 4.000, adding ten metres of height, and installing a stunning new retractable roof and pitch. And it’s doing it all without disrupting a single game, thanks to a Roman-inspired building approach that allows for construction to continue without interrupting on-field events.

Once completed, Bernabeu will host a variety of spectacles for most days of the year, from business conferences and concerts to tennis matches, basketball games, and of course Real Madrid victories. A retractable pitch means that the stadium’s six massive trays of grass turf can be moved underground via a hydraulic elevator, revealing a new concrete surface for a variety of sporting events, concerts, and conferences.

Teaming up with client PHB to work on Real Madrid’s famous stadium, Sarens transported two retractable beams inside the stadium and proposed and developed a new method of statement for jacking and skidding the 650t Hypogeum (huge concrete shaft were the pitch grass trays can be stored) top slab and the tray nº6 of grass. Considering the project’s parameters, we recommended and deployed the following equipment, which arrived from several depots by road within 2-3 days: 

·        1 SPMT 8 lines with PPU

·        16 climbing jacks up to 250 tonnes

·        8 SarSkid skidding lines up to 30 metres (more than 200 metres in total)

·        8 double long skid beams

·        8 push-pull units up to 25 tonnes

·        16 hydraulic jacks up to 100 tones and 150mm stroke

As part of this visionary redevelopment project, the Sarens crew operated within an extremely tight schedule, sharing a work area with many other subcontractors at the same time. The crew had to prepare and assemble/disassemble all equipment, plus perform jacking and skidding works, exclusively from the pitch area so as to avoid disrupting the work going on inside of the Hypogeum. They also faced the challenge of working in a busy city environment, which meant that transporting equipment to the site and out presented its own logistical challenges.

However, with the right equipment ready for the job, Sarens performed the jacking and skidding of the Hypogeum’s top steel slab and one of the six massive grass trays with minimum supporting points. This was notable considering the steel slab’s 115x13x1,5 metre dimensions and 650 tonnes. The grass tray nº6, meanwhile, weighed 350 tonnes and measured 115x11,5x1 metres. Each element was jacked up almost 1,5 metres from 16 points, then skidded nearly 15 metres with eight skidding lines and double skid beams per line. They were then jacked down nearly 0,5 metres.

SPMTs also transported two steel retractable beams from outside of the stadium. Each beam measured 15x2,25 metres and weighed 30 tonnes. Our client had tried bringing these inside via normal means, but the total transport height proved too high to pass through the inner stadium gates. When Sarens got an urgent call on a Saturday morning, we were able to arrange everything without delay so that the SPMTs were ready and on-site by Monday night. Our two SPMT operators managed the small curves as they handled the load, passing through the internal stadium gates and travelling up and down a 17,6% slope.

With seven crew members giving it their all, Sarens executed all operations on time and was congratulated by PHB’s construction director for our performance from start to finish–and especially for solving the site’s issues ASAP so work could be completed on time. 

Sarens is grateful to have been part of this iconic project and is cheering on its successful completion as it enters the final phases of construction work. We would like to thank all crew members involved for making it possible, and to our client for entrusting us with such a momentous operation.