Real Madrid CF took advantage of the novel coronavirus pandemic to hasten the renovation of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. In an interesting new development, Los Blancos are reportedly contemplating the possibility of hosting their home games this coming season at Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano.

Real Madrid has knocked on the door of their cross-city rivals in an attempt to move their upcoming home games to the Wanda Metropolitano instead of the Alfredo di Stefano in Valdebebas. The motivation behind the move is La Liga's plan to allow spectators back into stadiums later this year.

Real Madrid wants to take advantage of the opportunity to accommodate between 20,000 and 30,000 fans, which would not be possible in a socially-distanced Di Stefano stadium.

The squad effectively shifted their entire operations to Valdebebas in March 2020, just when lockdowns were announced across the globe due to the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic came at an opportune time, allowing the club to renovate without having to think about playing matches and working around the construction schedule.

Playing at Di Stefano was not an issue, as the pitch there is designed to be an exact replica of the one at the Bernabeu. Since spectators are not allowed, the state-of-the art facilities at Real Madrid City were more than enough for the club to function until now.

Once fans are gradually allowed back in, clubs will be looking forward to the revenues that will start to flow from ticket sales. This is why Real Madrid is considering a move to the Wanda while they wait for the Bernabeu to be ready to accept spectators.

According to Marca, Atletico has been open to the idea even back when matches first resumed following the first lockdown in mid-2020. "Let us be clear that we are at Real Madrid's disposition," said Enrique Cerezo after the return of LaLiga Santander last season.

It has been announced that the pitch at the Bernabeu is ready, but construction is still ongoing in the stands and other parts of the stadium. In a closed match, the venue can be used, but safety will be an issue if fans are allowed into the stands at this stage.

The club is targeting a September-October completion date, an impressive feat for such a massive project. The move to Di Stefano has allowed workers unrestricted access, shortening the renovation time by several months if not years.

La Liga Santander is expected to start on August 13, with Real Madrid hoping to play as many away matches as possible before they are ready to host matches at the new Bernabeu. Before then, the Wanda may become their temporary home.

Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
Santiago Bernabeu Stadium