Chelsea eye relocation at rival Premier League club in Stamford Bridge redevelopment plans
Chelsea are weighing up their options regarding the redevelopment of their Stamford Bridge stadium.
The Blues’ 40,341-capacity home is the smallest among the Premier League’s big six, while it is currently the ninth-biggest stadium in the entire division.
The club have long sought to address this problem. Under Roman Abramovich’s stewardship, they considered redeveloping Battersea Power Station into a football stadium, while plans were also afoot to demolish Stamford Bridge and build a state-of-the-art 60,000-capacity arena on the same site.
While those plans did not come to fruition under the Russian, current co-owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake are keen to overcome several obstacles in order to deliver a new stadium one way or another.
Stamford Bridge is located in a tight space in a built-up area of west London, sitting adjacent to railway and tube lines as well as a cemetery.
According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea hope to have redeveloped Stamford Bridge by 2030 at a cost which could exceed £2bn – a steep price that Boehly and Clearlake are prepared to pay.
They add that Boehly has informally discussed a temporary relocation down the road to Craven Cottage with Fulham owner Shahid Khan, with work on Stamford Bridge expected to last for at least four years.
It’s suggested that while most of Chelsea’s games away from their spiritual home would be played at Craven Cottage, they could host bigger matches at Wembley or Twickenham – the club have approached the RFU over potentially playing at the latter.
Fulham themselves have priors when it comes to playing at the home of a rival during stadium redevelopment – they spent two years at QPR’s Loftus Road while Craven Cottage was renovated to meet Premier League standings.
Tottenham also spent 18 months at Wembley while their new stadium was built on the site of their old White Hart Lane ground.