SPORTS

After the match between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final, at the stadium

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After the match between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, in the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, one of the video clips from the stands was widely popular on the “X” platform, and it became clear through it how loud the Santiago Bernabeu was, which some thought was normal, but was it like this? Really simple?

Better design, louder noise

In May 2016, a video clip spread of French fans of Olympique Lyonnais, from the stands of their new team’s stadium, the “Stade of Lights,” during the match against Monaco in League 1, showing the echo of the very loud voices of the fans chanting their well-known chants.

Three months after this match, and also a month after the end of the Euro Championship, in which the Stadium of Lights hosted 6 of its matches, the Canadian newspaper “Vice” decided to depart from the norm a little, as it conducted a press interview, the first of its kind, with Gary Reeves, the main architect in Al Adwaa Stadium construction project.

The newspaper asked the engineer about the secret of the great noise in Al Adwaa Stadium, and what makes certain football stadiums noisier than others? Is it just for the fans of those clubs? Or does the matter have other dimensions?

Reeves emphasized that it is possible for the fans to be loud enough, but it does not make the necessary noise because the architectural design of the stadium does not help that.

To be more clear in his response, Reeves mentioned 7 very important factors for creating a more noisy atmosphere in international football stadiums, 6 of which are primarily architectural.

Indoor playground

One of the most important and prominent factors mentioned by Reeves was the presence of a roof that covers the stadium well, or a flexible roof that can be opened and closed. But the question here is, what does this have to do with how noisy the atmosphere is?

The main purpose of stadium roofs is to ensure that football fields are not affected by weather conditions. If it is too rainy, snowy, or even too sunny, stadium officials can close the roof and play matches without any problems for the players or the audience.

The secondary purpose of these ceilings is to prevent or reduce the leakage of the noise of fans outside the stadium from above, thus concentrating the sound bounce back more and more inside it.

In 2024, in an interview with the “Architect Daily” platform, Tristan Lopez Chicheri – CEO of the “35 Architects” company responsible for the reconstruction and restoration project of the Santiago Bernabeu – confirmed that this matter was one of the most important reasons that prompted them to design the new stadium with an openable roof. And closing.

Chichiri pointed out that the more covered the stadium was, the more focused the sound would be.

The truth is that Real Madrid did not have to close the roof in any match it played inside its stadium due to bad weather conditions, but despite that, it used the closed roof to enjoy the second advantage: creating a more noisy atmosphere, although many believe that it is less noisy than other stadiums in Spain, such as San Jose. Mamis and Wanda Metropolitano.

One of Real Madrid’s former legends, the Portuguese Pepe, confirmed – after his departure from the team in 2017, in statements to beIN Sports – that the atmosphere at the Bernabeu did not make him feel the same enthusiasm that he felt in the Turkish Besiktas stadium, where the crowd’s clamor continued until the next morning, as he described it.

Colosseum

The first match that Real played against the Santiago Bernabéu in its new uniform was against Getafe in La Liga last September, and it was the first match in which the Royal Club decided to experiment with the closed roof of the stadium.

After the match, “Royal” star Jude Bellingham said that he lived the most tumultuous moment in his life after his goal in the last minutes.

In recent statements to The Athletic newspaper, Lopez confirmed that most of the Real Madrid players felt in the new stadium that the crowd was almost exactly above their heads due to the intensity of the noise.

Perhaps the matter also has to do with the towering height of the Bernabeu, which reaches 57 metres, as well as the clear inclination of its stands, which is one of the six other factors that Reeves talked about in his interview with “Vice” magazine.

Billingham linked the matter to the Colosseum, the most famous Roman battle arena in human history, which ironically had a retractable roof more than two thousand years ago. But of course, in a primitive way, as it was raised using ropes and a catapult. Ironically, this approach to the Colosseum is the same approach that Lopez spoke about in 2017, that is, before deciding on the project.

In its three Champions League knockout matches this year, Real Madrid closed the roof of the Bernabeu to create an unparalleled raucous atmosphere, and with its new capacity increased to 84,000 fans, the Bernabeu rocked on Champions Nights like never before.