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Soccer-Real choose German design for stadium, reports say

Reuters

MADRID, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Real Madrid have chosen a design led by German architects GMP for the remodelling of their Bernabeu stadium at an estimated cost of 400 million euros ($546 million), Spanish media reported on Thursday.

The club hopes work on the project, which would see a striking new exterior added and include a hotel and a shopping centre, can begin after the end of this season and be completed by 2017, various media reported without identifying the source of their information.

Half the financing would come from selling naming rights and half from a bond issue among Real members, meaning the club would not need additional bank loans, the reports said.

By remodelling the Bernabeu, which was opened in the 1950s and reworked for the 1982 World Cup, Real are looking to increase matchday revenue, one of their key income streams.

To win the project, Hamburg-based GMP beat off competition from three other bidders, reports said.

The German firm have been responsible for some of the world's most high-profile construction projects in recent years, including Berlin's main railway station and the Arena Amazonia World Cup stadium in Manaus, Brazil.

Real's great rivals Barcelona recently announced they planned to remodel their Nou Camp stadium, which is Europe's largest and was also opened in the 1950s, by 2021.

Real will officially announce the project they have selected for the stadium work at a news conference on Friday, the club said on their website (www.realmadrid.com). ($1 = 0.7329 euros) (Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Justin Palmer)

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