Chelsea were today given approval by the Mayor of London for the go-ahead on redeveloping their Stamford Bridge home.
It marks a huge day in the history of the Premier League club as they increase their capacity, alter their home of over 100 years and ultimately significantly boost their revenues.
Here’s everything you need to know…
What will it cost?
The redevelopment of Stamford Bridge has been estimated at £500million.
Are there any more hoops Chelsea need to jump through?
Chelsea’s desire to increase their capacity has existed for years, but being in a packed, wealthy suburb of London hasn’t made it easy. The club seriously considered leaving their current home, with Battersea Power Station among the locations looked into.
However a way to redevelop Stamford Bridge, their home since 1905, was found.
The plans were granted permission by Hammersmith and Fulham council in January before they were sent to City Hall to be rubber stamped. Sadiq Khan gave his permission, which represented the final major hurdle to work beginning. However the club noted that ‘further steps lie ahead, both during and after the planning process, before construction work can commence.’
What did Khan say?
‘London is one of the world’s greatest sporting cities and I’m delighted that we will soon add Chelsea’s new stadium to the already fantastic array of sporting arenas in the capital.
‘Having taken a balanced view of the application, I’m satisfied this is a high-quality and spectacular design which will significantly increase capacity within the existing site, as well as ensuring fans can have easy access from nearby transport connections.
‘I’m confident this new stadium will be a jewel in London’s sporting crown and will attract visitors and football fans from around the world.’
How much bigger will it be?
The overall capacity of Stamford Bridge will increase from its current 41,600 to 60,000. There will be 13,374 extra general admission tickets for each game while hospitality will be doubled to a capacity of 9,200.
How long will it take?
The redevelopment will take three years and if Chelsea begin work as expected, the Blues will be able to move in for the 2021/22 season.
So where will they go for three seasons?
Chelsea are expected to play at Wembley during the 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons. Twickenham has also been mooted, however RFU chief Ian Ritchie said ‘there is no intention’ to hold matches there amid fears from local residents of anti-social behaviour and increased traffic.
But aren’t Tottenham playing at Wembley?
Spurs are playing at Wembley next season – but they are expected to be in their own redeveloped stadium for the 2018/19 campaign, meaning it will be free by the time Chelsea want to make use of the national stadium.
Who’s making it?
Chelsea have turned to architects Herzog and de Meuron – most famous for designing the iconic Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing and Bayern Munich’s distinctive Allianz Arena.
Will it still be called Stamford Bridge?
Probably not. Like most new stadiums, naming rights are expected to be offered. That doesn’t mean the fans won’t still refer to their home as The Bridge.