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Chelsea Football Club have announced that they are seeking planning permission to build a new 60,000 capacity stadium on the existing Stamford Bridge site. This would mean demolishing the existing ground and building a new stadium in its place.
With Stamford Bridge having a capacity of under 42,000, the Club have been looking for sometime at ways to further increase it. Initially it was felt that because of the small footprint that the present ground stands upon, that it would be better to look at building a new stadium elsewhere. In 2012 the Club announced plans to bid for the Battersea Power Station site, on which to build a new stadium. However after this fell through and with a lack of available land nearby, the Club began looking again at the Stamford Bridge site.
The plans submitted by the Club to Hammersmith and Fulham Council for approval, show that apart from requiring additional vehicular access to the stadium and better pedestrian access to Fulham Broadway Station, then the need for additional land to build the new stadium is minimal. The plans also include designs for the new stadium by Swiss Architects Herzog & de Meuron (one of which is shown above), This company also designed the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing and it is probably no surprise that the the new proposed Stamford Bridge looks not only striking, but quite unusual. It will be interesting to see the reaction of local residents to the prospect of this new larger stadium being on their doorstep.
If successful in their application, then work could begin in 2017, with the Club needing to groundshare for at least the 2017/18 season. It is believed that the stadium would cost in the region of £500m to build.
With Arsenal already having a 60,000 capacity stadium, West Ham moving to the 54,000 capacity Olympic Stadium this year and with Tottenham commencing on building a new 61,000 stadium, then this Stamford Bridge redevelopment would keep them on par with their London rivals. Plus as the table below shows, then currently Stamford Bridge if left undeveloped will in a couple of years will be the 10th largest stadium in the Premier League. If the new Stamford Bridge Stadium were to go ahead then it would become the fourth largest.
Premier League Capacities (including development proposals going ahead)
1. Manchester United (Old Trafford) 76,100
2. Tottenham Hotspur (White Hart Lane) 61,000 from 2018
3. Arsenal (Emirates Stadium) 60,432
4. Manchester City (Etihad Stadium) 55,097
5. Liverpool (Anfield) 54,000 from 2016/2017 season
6. West Ham United (Olympic Stadium) 54,000 from 2016/17 season
7. Newcastle United (St James' Park) 52,401
8. Sunderland (Stadium of Light) 49,000
9. Aston Villa (Villa Park) 42,785
10 Chelsea (Stamford Bridge) 41,623
The artists impression above as well as others from Herzog & de Meuron, can be viewed on the de Zeen Magazine website.
The formal planning permission request can be viewed on the Hammersmith and Fulham Council website.