Chelsea have submitted a planning application to rebuild Stamford Bridge into a 60,000-seat stadium that is expected to cost at least £600 million and take three years. The cost of the stadium will be financed by Blues owner Roman Abramovich.
Provided they get the necessary backing in the now-launched consultation period, Chelsea could begin life in their new home on the first day of the 2020-2021 season.
Stamford Bridge currently has a capacity of only 41,600, making it the smallest ground amongst England’s big clubs when Liverpool and Spurs finish their stadium works. Chelsea’s matchday revenue is dwarfed by that of Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal. And in an expanding global market, Stamford Bridge’s small capacity puts Chelsea at a financial disadvantage against Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and PSG.
And a statement on the Chelsea’s website on Tuesday confirmed plans would be submitted to Hammersmith and Fulham council.
“A planning application for a new stadium at Stamford Bridge with an expanded seating capacity has been submitted,” the statement read.
“This follows a successful consultation process during which we received very helpful feedback.”
Work is expected to start at the end of this season with the building of expanded access from the current stadium’s rear to Fulham Broadway station through the building of slats over the railway lines.
Chelsea would then be forced to vacate their home for a full demolition of the site in 2017, playing away from the ground that has hosted them for 110 years for a three-year period.
Wembley Stadium is their expected temporary destination with talks already at an advanced stage, although Tottenham Hotspur also have eyes on the National Stadium.
Chelsea Stadium Timeline
October 2016-October 2017 (Phase One)
Construction of rafting over the railway lines behind the East Stand and Matthew Harding Stand begins.
Both Stamford Bridge hotels, a range of bars and restaurants and the Stamford Bridge Health Club are demolished.
Chelsea play their last game at Stamford Bridge as it stands, leaving for three years to facilitate the rebuild.
June 2017-September 2018 (Phase Two)
The old Stamford Bridge is demolished. Digging down to accommodate the height of the new stadium begins.
July 2018-October 2019 (Phase Three)
Stadium is constructed from scratch
December 2018-July 2020 (Phase Four)
Fitting out of the surrounding area is completed, with a restaurant/café included on-site along with a new club shop and museum.
Chelsea return to play at a 60,000-capacity Stamford Bridge for the first time.