When Chelsea first unveiled plans for the re-build of Stamford Bridge, the overall cost of the project was forecast at around £500m. Even back then that sounded optimistic, and sure enough, according to the latest report from the Times, the projected costs have now doubled to roughly £1 billion. And that may still not be the final cost when all is said and done and finished.
This new figure is based in part on Spurs’ project costs doubling costs as well for their almost completed new stadium next to the old White Hart Lane — Tottenham blamed just Brexit alone for a 20 per cent increase, with inflation and changes in project scope being blamed for the rest of the cost increase from £400m to £800m. And that’s before we factor in other fluctuations in currencies and commodities and the cost of doing construction in one of the most congested and most expensive real estate locations in the world.
Given that Chelsea will not be finished with the stadium until 2024 at the earliest, there is a decent chance that the final project cost will eclipse the record £1.2 billion price tags of new NFL stadiums in East Rutherford, NJ (Giants and Jets) and Atlanta, GA (Falcons and MLS’s Atlanta United).
As previously reported, Chelsea have been already begun to seek funding for the project, encompassing anything from naming rights to investment from foreign (especially Chinese) financiers, since Roman Abramovich would not be very smart to simply cover the costs from his own funds (even if he could technically afford it).
Cost overruns, delays, and various other changes are not uncommon in projects of this size and ambition. And while Chelsea have had a rather sordid history with various stadium remodels in the past — including both at the very start and the final days of the Bates era, just before Abramovich rescued the club — for now, we look to be nowhere near any such concerns or crises.