Chelsea push on with Bridge plan

The Premier League champions are keen to expand capacity due to supporter demand, and a redeveloped stadium could see their capacity rise from just below 42,000 to 60,000.

They previously considered moving to a new stadium entirely, with the site of the Battersea Power Station among those being looked at, but it now seems likely Stamford Bridge will remain their home in one form or another.

Chelsea will reveal their proposals to local residents and supporters at an exhibition at Stamford Bridge – it will open on June 30 and be available for viewing until July 2.

Among the proposals, which could cost as much as ??500m, is to lower the pitch below street level with an extra tier of seating, similar to Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu ground.

The work could take three years, with Chelsea looking for a temporary home in the meantime – they were previously reported to be talking to Twickenham and Wembley about such a move earlier in the process.

A club statement read: ???A year ago a study of the area from Fulham Broadway to Stamford Bridge and beyond was commissioned by Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich to examine the potential of upgrading the streetscape.

???The study also began to assess the feasibility of an expansion of the stadium capacity within the existing historical site boundary, based on the principles of improving site access, benefiting the neighbourhood and enhancing the spectator experience.

???Mr Abramovich has appointed a professional team to assess, in more detail, the feasibility of expanding the existing stadium capacity at Stamford Bridge Grounds.

???The process now enters a further local consultation phase. This will include an explanation of the rationale for expansion, driven by spectator demand for more seats and the need to increase stadium revenue to remain competitive with our major rivals, this revenue being especially important under Financial Fair Play rules.

???Technical solutions for stadium capacity expansion are being investigated initially. This stage of the consultation will focus at present on discussing the rationale and technical solutions for expansion with residents and match-going spectators.

???Local stakeholders, neighbours, season ticket holders and club members will be invited to comment on the potential expansion. This feedback, which to date has assisted our progress in earlier stages, will continue to inform the next stage of the study.???

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