Barcelona want Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium for the Copa del Rey final
Barcelona want to play the Copa del Rey final at the home of their rivals, Real Madrid – the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. Reports in the Spanish press claim that the Catalans have already started lobbying for the Madrid venue to play host to this year’s final because of it’s huge capacity.
According to a report in Madrid based newspaper AS, Barcelona want the Bernabeu to play host to the 2016 Copa del Rey final primarily because of it’s capacity. A source revealed Barcelona’s preference for the 90,000 seater in Madrid, saying “As always, we want the stadium with the biggest capacity in order to facilitate the movement of the growing number of fans.”
The Catalans are all but in the Copa del Rey final, having thrashed Valencia 7-0 in the first leg of their semifinal, but out of ‘respect’ for their opponents, have not issued an official stance for their preference, since the tie is still technically not over. The Catalans are like to meet Sevilla in the final, as the Andalusian club defeated Celta Vigo 4-0 in the first leg of their semifinal, with Kevin Gameiro scoring a brace.
A Barcelona – Sevilla final would make the Bernabeu the ideal hosts, as Madrid is almost equidistant between both Barcelona and Seville.
Mestalla and Calderon are alternatives
Unlike cup competitions in other leagues where the location of the final is decided beforehand, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) allows the finalists to discuss the where they would like to stage the final, in particular because the club that ‘loans’ the stadium is allocated a portion of the tickets as well a percentage of the advertising and televison revenue.
Barcelona were the hosts of last years final after the RFEF board voted for the Camp Nou to play host, despite Barcelona’s insistence that the final be hosted by the Bernabeu. Real Madrid rejected that approach last season and are likely to do so again, as the prospect of their hated rivals celebrating a trophy in thier home ground is one difficult to stomach.
Although they did experience a similar situation when the final was last held at the Bernabeu in 2013, as Atletico Madrid defeated Real Madrid after extra time to lift the trophy. As such, with Real Madrid expected to reject Barcelona’s proposal, Valencia’s Mestalla stadium and Atletico Madrid’s Vicente Calderon have both been proposed as alternatives, with each stadium having a capacity of 55,000 and being geographically viable as well.