Explained: Why Real Madrid are not playing at the Santiago Bernabeu in the Champions League
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Explained: Why Real Madrid are not playing at the Santiago Bernabeu in the Champions League

Real Madrid hosted Shakhtar Donetsk for their Champions League group opener at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium on Wednesday night and not their Santiago Bernabéu grounds.

This is because their Bernabeu Stadium, which has been their home since 1947, is currently undergoing renovations.

The LaLiga defending champions were first allowed to play at the 6,000-seater Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium, home to Real Madrid Castilla - Real Madrid's reserve team- in June, following the restart after the coronavirus outbreak. 

Among the renovations being done include installing new equipment for the VAR technology, new sets of floodlights, and a change in the advertising spaces.

The work was initially set to be completed in the summer of 2022, but with the pandemic restricting fans from attending matches, the club has continued with works. 

With fans expected back in the stadia in the coming months, Real Madrid may need to find an alternative venue for their matches if the Bernabeu will still be under renovations, with Atletico's Wanda Metropolitano sounded as a possible alternate venue. 

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