I was in London on Saturday and I headed down to Chelsea for a tour of Stamford Bridge. To get to Stamford Bridge you take the Fulham Broadway exit on the underground and the stadium is maybe 100 yards down the street on the left.
On the walls surrounding the stadium, Chelsea have these big pictures of past and present Chelsea greats as well as a statue of Chelsea great Peter Osgood.
I have been to Arsenal and Wembley recently, as well as the stadiums in the U.S., and when we entered the Matthew Harding stand the first thing that struck me was how small Stamford Bridge felt compared to those other stadiums.
We saw the press room and the family section and it is amazing how close to the pitch you are, compared to other places I have been. The picture below is taking from the second or third row.
After visiting the press room, we then ventured into the away and home team dressing rooms. It is interesting to see the gamesmanship that goes on with the dressing rooms in order to give Chelsea an advantage. In the dressing room, the players lockers are small and underneath the bench where the player sits down,. The chalkboard in the away dressing room, is on a wall behind the main door, making it extremely difficult to use.
The Chelsea dressing room is much bigger and luxurious by comparison. As you can see from this picture, the Chelsea players have these beautiful wood lockers with more than enough room for all their stuff. The players site in groups, so you have the goalkeepers in one corner, JT and Lampard together and the African players all together.
From the dressing room we took the short walk out into the tunnel, where the players both sides line up before walking onto the pitch. One nice feature that Chelsea adds here, is that they pump in sound so it really feels like you are walking out onto the pitch in front of 40,000 Chelsea fans..
We were not allowed to actually walk on the pitch, but from pitch level you can really get a sense of what Stamford Bridge must feel like on a Saturday afternoon or one of those big European nights. The view below is from the shed end of the ground.
All in all a great experience and I highly recommend the tour to any Chelsea fan. After the stadium tour, I got to tour the Chelsea museum and will have those pictures up later this week.