Stadium History (3)

New Chamartín. Exemplary stadium.

Santiago Bernabéu’s initiative, to build a stadium for 100,000 spectators, was described as pharaonic. On the foundations of the old field, a large-scale work was launched, culminating in a great success. Overcome many difficulties, both economic and technical, in mid December 1947 the dream became reality.

Civil War

On July 18, 1936 civil war broke out in Spain. The military conflict would affect the field of Chamartin. At that time Rafael Sanchez Guerra was the chairman of the club, having been elected on May 31, 1935. The civil war ended on April 1, 1939. Following the same, Chamartín was in a terrible state. Had to spend a substantial amount to replace the damage of any kind it had suffered. It never became a concentration camp and was damaged by bombing, but in late March and early April 1939 was used as a place for the classification of prisoners.

Bernabéu dreams of a new stadium

The Old Chamartín was reopened October 22, 1939 to host the first derby of the post-war. As the fans had not fallen, the Madrid field bleachers were filled.At the reopening, the Madrid won 2-1 at Atletico in a match valid for the Regional Championship.

The hostile climate surrounding the Cup semi-final in Spain in 1943 between Real Madrid and Barcelona (with white team defeated 0-3 in the Corts and the memorable victory of 11-1 Madrid! In Chamartin) provoked the beginning of the era Bernabéu, after the abandonment of Antonio Santos Pearl as rector of the Club.

"We'll do a larger field"

Obviously, the Chamartín Field was too small. Madrid's population grew and the love of football. With the successive reforms had expanded to a total of 25,000 tickets, which were far exceeded by the demands of fans

On September 15, 1943, Santiago Bernabéu became president of Real Madrid. Just one year later, Bernabeu was much more ambitious when, in his first board meeting, pronounced the words: "Gentlemen, we need a larger field and we will do it."

On November 1, 1943 the full board visited the camp grounds near the Chamartin Field. Days later, negotiations began to acquire them. The cost amounted to three million pesetas (18,000 euro)


The selection of the construction of works, was made through a design competition convened on February 24, 1945. On April 5, 1945, the final selection was "Huarte y Cia." The duration of the work was estimated at 30 months in two construction phases.

The problems with the construction of new stadium persisted beyond the economic difficulties. The lack of supplies after the war was a serious problem, and Real Madrid had to apply for multiple grants to fix. The lack of cement was about to stall the work on several occasions. The problems ranged from the bleachers to the field, cement and iron to seeds. To sow the grass, the club had to resort to the foreign market (London), due to the nationwide shortage of resources.

All the 1946-47 season Real Madrid played on loan at the “Estadio Metropolitano” (Atletico’s stadium) Several unexpected contingencies delayed the work and the team had to play at home of the red and white "eternal rival".

The opening

On December 14, 1947 the stadium was inaugurated with the celebration of a match between Real Madrid and Portuguese side Os Belenenses. The final result was 3-1 in favor of the white team. Local player Barianaga scored the first goal in the new stadium, officially called the “Real Madrid Stadium”, but known by fans as the “New Chamartín”.

New Chamartín

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