Herzog & de Meuron working on £500m Stamford Bridge rebuild for Chelsea FC

by Tom Walker | 16 Jun 2015

English Premier League (EPL) champion Chelsea FC will announce detailed plans to rebuild its Stamford Bridge stadium in London later this month. It is understood that Swiss-based architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron is working on the plans in partnership with London-based practice Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands.

Despite being one of the most successful English clubs of the past decade, the club’s current home capacity of 41,000 is only the eighth largest in the EPL – and far smaller than its rivals Manchester United (76,000), Arsenal (60,000) and Manchester City (55,000).

The club’s billionaire owner, Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, has for years been seeking a site to build a new stadium, as part of efforts to bring the club’s revenues in line with its rivals.

Plans to build a new venue at both Earl’s Court and Battersea Power Station in London were deemed unfeasible.

As the search for a new site has been unfruitful, the club will now undertake an ambitious rebuild of Stamford Bridge, which could cost up to £500m and expand capacity at the venue to 60,000.

The plans come as a result of feasibility study commissioned by Abramovich last year, which looked at the area from Fulham Broadway to Stamford Bridge and examined the potential of upgrading the stadium.

Redeveloping the historic Stamford Bridge could take up to three years to complete and result in the club relocating to another venue, such as Wembley or Twickenham during building work. In October 2014, the Rugby Football Union – which owns Twickenham stadium – said it had received an enquiry from Chelsea FC but “had not had any discussions of any substance”.

The detailed proposals and concept designs will be revealed at a consultation meeting to local residents and supporters at a Stamford Bridge exhibition running from June 30 to July 2.

A spokesperson for Chelsea said the development was crucial to the club’s future plans.

“Mr Abramovich has appointed a professional team to assess the feasibility of expanding the existing stadium at Stamford Bridge,” he said.

“The rationale for expansion is 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.”

He added that local stakeholders, neighbours, season ticket holders and club members will be invited to comment on the potential expansion and that feedback will inform the next stage of planning application.

English Premier League (EPL) champion Chelsea FC will announce detailed plans to rebuild its Stamford Bridge stadium in London later this month. It is understood that Swiss-based architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron is working on the plans in partnership with London-based practice Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Despite being one of the most successful English clubs of the past decade, the club’s current home capacity of 41,000 is only the eighth
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Stamford Bridge has a capacity of 41,000 – significantly lower than other leading Premier League teams
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