January 10, 2017

Chelsea Plan Bridge Redevelopment  (Sky Sports)

Stamford BridgeChelsea will present plans to increase the capacity of Stamford Bridge to 60,000 seats to Hammersmith and Fulham Council on Wednesday.

Stamford Bridge's current capacity is 41,663, making it the ninth largest club ground in England behind Manchester United, Arsenal, West Ham, Manchester City, Liverpool, Sunderland, Newcastle United and Aston Villa.

Rather than move site and build from scratch, though, the club have decided that redeveloping Stamford Bridge is their preferred option.

Antonio Conte's side sit at the top of the Premier League, with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich reportedly willing to fund the estimated £500m project fund.

The club have a meeting scheduled with the planning and development control committee of Hammersmith and Fulham Council for 7pm on Wednesday, with the council having already initially recommended that the application be approved.

The main point of discussion is likely to be the ground's proximity to transport, with the new prospective capacity of 60,000 making the distance of underground and railway lines paramount and the main challenge facing the project.

The project will also mean that the club will need to find a temporary home due to the complex nature of the build, with a lowering of the arena and excavation likely to achieve the desired capacity on the 12-acre site.

Twickenham Stadium has been mentioned, as has Wembley, though London rivals Tottenham will already be playing their fixtures at the latter for the 2017/18 season.

Chelsea had originally looked at external sites for a potential relocation, including Battersea Power Station, but have now deduced that a substantial overall of the Bridge is the way forward.

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