REAL MADRID will not return to their iconic Estadio Santiago Bernabeu this season – and will instead play at their training ground.
With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent shutdown of the football season, Los Blancos hastened plans to renovate their home.
The first stage of the £500million project has already seen the pitch and some seats removed, making the ground unusable for matches.
Therefore Real will resume the season at their 6,000-seater Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, located at the club's Valdebebas training complex.
Madrid president Florentino Perez wrote to fans this week confirming the anticipated switch, with news of season ticket refunds coming in due course.
He stated: "We have made the decision to play in the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano in our Ciudad Real Madrid all the games in which we will play as the home team.
"This decision will allow us to advance in the works of the Santiago Bernabeu."
Named after the LaLiga giants' legendary striker of the 1950s and 60s, Real's second home usually hosts the Castilla reserve team.
Built in 2006, the ground is now being worked on to meet top-flight standards, including a full VAR setup and extra sponsorship boards to accommodate for existing Bernabeu deals.
Real are set to train at the Di Stefano once a week to help acclimatise but the pitch, looked after by British groundsman Paul Burgess, is already said to be in top condition.
Meanwhile, an underground home for the Bernabeu's new retractable pitch is one area of focus for the current building work.
The ground is expected to be back in working order by October.
The full refurbishment, including a retractable roof, steel facade and new main entrance could be finished before its original 2022 completion date.
Eibar, Valencia, Mallorca, Getafe, Alaves and Villarreal are due to play at the Di Stefano – along with a potential Champions League quarter-final if Madrid can overcome Manchester City in their last-16 second leg.
Two points behind leaders Barcelona, Los Blancos restart their campaign at 6.30pm on June 14, at home to Eibar.
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