Chelsea not only left prices frozen but also provided some cool changes around Stamford Bridge, including safe standing and a new Westview club area.
We got used to the thought of never seeing the Herzog & de Meuron vision implemented at Stamford Bridge. Perhaps so has the football club because the reigning club champions of Europe have just delivered the largest investment in current Stamford Bridge since before the planning for a new stadium began. In fact, according to Chelsea FC, there wasn’t as much work put into the stadium since 2001.
Standing behind goals
As expressed very clearly in survey after survey, fans prefer to stands during games or at least have the choice between sitting and standing. Finally, starting August 14 (vs. Crystal Palace), Chelsea fans will have that very choice officially awarded.
Rail seating has been installed across the Shed End (south) and in the lower tier of Matthew Harding Stand (north). This means also fans of travelling teams will have a safe standing section to enjoy. As of now the Blues haven’t revealed the final capacity after changes, but with 1:1 ratio the change may actually reduce the size of Stamford Bridge to some 41,300.
It’s worth noting that the extent of rail seating installation surpasses what many other clubs are offering their fans currently, as safe standing is arriving across England’s top flight.
Quicker payments with cash out of the picture
Chelsea has joined the majority of top football clubs in one more respect. Starting in 2021/22, Stamford Bridge is a cashless stadium. No physical exchange of money will be carried out at any premise, be it the club museum or a small kiosk.
While the shift away from cash was boosted by the ongoing pandemic, it should be noted that banknotes and coins were being gradually phased out for years. Contactless payment is far faster and allows fans to make more use of their time between parts of the game, while it also gives operators the benefit of learning more about their supporters’ habits.
Only within the last 3 weeks Derby County, Luton Town, Leyton Orient, Ipswich Town, Hull, Sunderland and Wycombe Wanderers announced dropping cash payments. And the list is far longer, reaching all levels of league football in England. It’s thus no wonder that Chelsea went in the same direction.
Better amenities for wealthier fans
Considered the biggest single investment in years, the newly decorated Westview hospitality area is also ready for its debut in 2021/22. Aside from fresh design, it will offer two panoramic bars in its hall, as well as offering views of the stadium interior and west London, with ample room to take a seat.
In the stands, new padded seats are installed and three additional video screens delivered for increased comfort. New facilities will also be partly available to season ticket holders from the upper west stand.
Author: Michał Karaś