Chelsea announce plans that could lead to Stamford Bridge expansion to 60,000 seats

By 01:20 Wed, 18 Jun 2014 Comments


Roman Abramovich

commissions study

into expanding Chelsea's

home

Chelsea previously said

expansion had 'little chance

of acceptability'

New plans could include

decking over the District line

railway

Chelsea had previously

considered a move to

Battersea Power Station

Chelsea have announced plans that

could see Stamford Bridge

expanded to accommodate 60,000

supporters after previously

claiming that such a move would

have 'little chance of acceptability'

by Hammersmith and Fulham

Council.

After failing with attempts to

reclaim the freehold of their

famous 109-year home and with

options at Battersea Power Station

and elsewhere appearing

unfeasible, Chelsea are now

looking at alternative plans to

expand their SW6 ground.

The study, commissioned by owner

Roman Abramovich, will look at

options that could help the club

reach a capacity of 60,000 that

would help Chelsea meet their

Financial Fair Play guidelines.

The club had been accused by

shareholders in Chelsea Pitch

Owners (CPO) - the fan-led

company which owns the land

beneath Stamford Bridge - of not

fully exploring the possibility of

staying put before attempting to

buy back the stadium freehold in

October 2011.

That was seen as a precursor to a

move to a new 60,000-seater

ground, something Chelsea are

unable to do before convincing

CPO to sell up.

Stamford Bridge's capacity

currently sits at 41,837 and the

Blues have previously explored the

possibility of moving to nearby

Battersea power station and Earls

Court, options which are no longer

there.

By potentially utilising decking

over the railway lines to the east

and north of the ground Chelsea

believe they could get around the

obstacles associated with

expansion on their relatively small

West London site.

Chelsea have indicated that they

will keep supporters informed with

the progress of their study, which

will begin with consolation of local

stakeholders, including community

and residents' groups.

A potential expansion would help

Chelsea to boost their matchday

revenue. Stamford Bridge is

currently the Premier League's

eighth largest ground. A 60,000

capacity would improve that

ranking to third.

If Chelsea's study proves

successful, the new plans with

decking over the District line

railway that runs alongside

Stamford Bridge could lead to

reduced pedestrian traffic on

Fulham Road and nearby streets on

matchdays.

CHELSEA'S STATEMENT IN FULL -

'A MESSAGE TO OUR FANS'

A study of the area from Fulham

Broadway town centre to Stamford

Bridge and beyond has been

commissioned by Chelsea Football

Club's owner Roman Abramovich.

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.

As a first step, a consultation will

take place with local stakeholders,

including community and residents'

groups, for opinions on the

existing conditions in the area.

The consultation will not concern

itself with any design or details of

a redevelopment on the stadium

site. Instead it will ask about the

surrounding publicly-owned areas

and in particular the civic

infrastructure necessary to ensure

a successful and feasible

redevelopment.

We will keep our supporters

informed as the study progresses.


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