Roman Abramovich commissioned a study into potential expansion of Chelsea’s home. That’s interesting, especially that the club earlier tried to convince fans it’s not feasible.
Stamford Bridge currently holds 41,837 fans and is England’s 8th stadium. Meanwhile Chelsea FC is among Europe’s most prominent clubs. To face the stiff competition of other domestic clubs progressing with their stadium plans (West Ham, Tottenham, Liverpool), Chelsea needs 55,000 seats or more.
This is why Roman Abramovich commissioned a study into potential redevelopment of the stadium. Club statement reads:
“This study will review the potential for improvements to publicly-owned areas along Fulham Road and the area around the football ground, including the possibility of decking over the railway lines to the east and north of the ground. This could create landscaped public walkways and cycleways, while also reducing pedestrian traffic on Fulham Road and nearby streets on matchdays.
“The study will also assess the feasibility of an expansion of the stadium within the existing historic site boundaries, potentially to enlarge its capacity, enhance its facilities and improve the movement of people and vehicles on match and non-matchdays.”
Photo: Chelsea FC
As Chelsea emphasizes, there is no existing design behind the study. The process, focused on local community and residents’ groups should give the club valuable information on existing and desired infrastructure, as well as on possibilities regarding the public-owned areas .
This latest statement may be seen as opposing to Chelsea’s stance from early 2012, when the club argued with supporters that staying at Stamford Bridge isn’t feasible. However, since those arguments the London outfit lost battle for two new-stadium sites and may be forced to remain at The Bridge in the long run.