clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Twickenham isn't the only option as Chelsea explore Stamford Bridge redevelopment

New, comments
Tom Shaw/Getty Images

The latest round of Chelsea's Stadium Fun Times involves the club attempting to redevelop Stamford Bridge in place rather than move elsewhere. If you've missed the buildup, the club is convinced that an expansion in capacity is essential as their competitors move to bigger and better stadia that can take in more matchday revenue; the hunt for more space has thus dominated the Blues' long-term planning for several years now.

Having (at least temporarily) exhausted the idea of moving away from the Bridge -- RIP to Battersea Fortress -- we're now working on a plan to redevelop the Bridge and its surroundings to be able to accommodate an extra 18,000 seats. Which is pretty exciting, even if we'd been told we might have to play a couple of seasons in a temporary home. Up until this point, it seemed as though the most likely destination was Twickenham, England's national rugby stadium, but now it seems as though there are other options.

First up is the news that Wembley Stadium turns out to be viable after all. It had been reported that the home of English football would find it difficult to host a full season, since it's limited to 37 'major events' per year, and Chelsea play at minimum 22 home games. Throw in England and cup matches and it becomes a bit of a tight squeeze. But as it turns out, we can reduce Wembley to 50,000 capacity -- still more than Stamford Bridge at present -- and play as many games as we like there. Potential problem solved.

The other, and perhaps more surprising bit to appear today is Simon Johnson's claim in the Standard that Chelsea are considering staying at Stamford Bridge while it's being redeveloped. Such an option would obviously take longer and involve more disruption (it would also possibly rule out some potential schemes like lowering the level of the pitch), but it would mean we don't have to wander around London during construction.

It should be noted that right now everything's in a preliminary state and that the club will be consulting with the supporters over plans at the end of June. We'll probably have to wait for a detailed look at what the club's thinking until then.