The Santiago Bernabéu stadium will be renamed the Abu Dhabi Bernabéu,.
The report has not been confirmed by Real Madrid and indeed the club has not yet explicitly announced that the stadium will change its name at all, but the president Florentino Pérez was caught on camera admitting to a member of the regional government that the stadium will be called whatever the Abu Dhabi investment group IPIC want it to be called.
Madrid signed a deal with the International Petroleum Investment Company at the end of October 2014. IPIC is an Abu Dhabi based company that owns the Spanish petrol company Cepsa and is owned by the emirate. No figures were given, but Pérez presented it as an agreement that would enable Madrid to carry out the redevelopment of the Bernabéu.
While figures were not given the deal was understood to be worth €3m a year until Madrid began work, when IPC would pay €20m a year. Madrid have not said that the stadium will be renamed, although Pérez has admitted that it might be given a “surname”.
Privately, he was more explicit. In mid-November television cameras caught Pérez talking to Lucia Fijar, in charge of the department for Sport and Education in the Madrid regional government following an event organised to present a commercial deal with Microsoft, who had originally been touted as among the candidates to buy naming rights for the stadium. “We’ll call it IPIC Bernabéu or whatever they want … or Cepsa Bernabéu,” Pérez said.
Now AS reports that the stadium will be called the Abu Dhabi Bernabéu after IPIC was rejected as a name. Whether that is the final decision remains to be seen but its days of being just the Santiago Bernabéu are numbered.