Stamdford Bridge is the home stadium for Chelsea Since 1905 when the club was founded.
Chelsea is a football club that plays in the highest division In England; English Premier Leagues (EPL).
EPL finals, FA CUP finals, FA Semi-Finals, Community Shield among other great tournaments had since been held in Stamford Bridge
Current owners of Stamford Bridge is Chelsea Pitch Owners plc.
History Of Stamford Bridge
As the name suggests, you could think that the Stadium is located next to a bridge. It is true as it sounds, but itis not just one bridge. It is situated between two bridges in Fulham, south west London.
The stadium is located between a bridge along Fulham road (Stamford Bridge and another bridge along King’s road called Stanley Bridge.
The stadium was first built with bricks in early days of 1860. It was set ready for use in 1876 and opened in 1877. The stadium was home for London Athletic Club till 1904.
The Stadium was first offerred to Fulham Football club which turn down due to financial situations which was affecting the club then.
While Stadium was home field for London Athletic Club it used to hold major football tournaments in London including FA Cup finals.
In 1905 the Chelsea Club founders lease the stadium exclusively for the newly founded club, Chelsea.
The stadium has since been used by Chelsea Football club that plays in English Premier League (EPL), the highest and most treasure league among football clubs in London.
The stadium was designed to have 100,000 which was going to make it the second-largest stadium after Selhurst Park Stadium (Crystal Palace’s Stadium).
The are two stadium was first built using bricks. the Stadium has undergone major renovations with 1998 renovation being the major one that resulted in it being a modern stadium.
Plans for expansions of the stadium to accommodate 60,000 people are underway. According to the statement of the Club’s owner Roman Abramovich, the stadium is set to expand to 60,000 capacity between 2020 and 2024.
Structure and facilities
Stamford Bridge is a real complex structure that is fully equipped right from the pitch to the hotel. For instance the stadium houses, SPA, Hotels, Megastore, and Chelsea museum.
Before we revisit the above mention areas in the stadium, let me take you through four main parts of Stamford Bridge Stadium.
Mathew Harding Stand
Mathew Harding was one of the directors of Chelsea in 1990s. He was man whose investment in the club helped in the renovations of the pitch before his demise in Helicopter in 1996. The North stand was changed in his memory.
This section of the pitch is used often by most seasoned fans. This section of the pitch holds few fans as compared to other areas of the pitch. If the club will ever want to expand this section, some facilities structure of the club that is adjacent to this section will have to be demolished. These parts include; Chelsea Health, SPA, and Museum
For those of have been at Stamford Bridge this section is the heart and the soul of the club operations during the match.
It has 3 tier form structure. This Section of the Stadium houses, audiovisual complementary box, VAR cameras, Press Centre, dressing room and dugout.
This end has been the most developed section the stadium since its was built and it has been given much attention whenever renovations and expansion has been happening in the stadium.
Initially the bottom of the tier of this section was initially occupied by fans of the other team. Jose Mourinho pursued the club to consider home fans to be seated at the sections to cheer the Blues better. The decisions was approved in 2006 and since then the Chelsea fans have since occupied the sections.
Often fans who seats here are die hard of Chelsea and highly vocal.
West side shade lies in the south of the pitch and it is one of the spots for most die hard fans of the club since the shed was erected in 1931.
The sections is adjacent to Chelsea Museum and memorial wall where chelsea fans come and write the names of their love ones who love the club.
The section also is seated next to the penalty spot where Peter Osgood’s ashes were buried. Peter Osgood was the King of football, the known legend that was loved and cherished by fans in the 1960s. His statue was raise outside the club.
The West Stand is the face section of the club the fans see when they are headed to the club.
This section has 3 tier form structure. And it has extended executive boxes that house match guests. The executive boxes are named after Chelsea players for instance Tambling Suites (named after (Bobby Tambling), Hollins Suites ( named after John Hollins) among other boxes.
Stamford Bridge Pitch was first opened in 1877 and it was used by London Athletic club and it was used by the club till 1904 when the founders of Chelsea lease the stadium purposely to be used by the Chelsea football club. Till today the club uses it as their home field.
The pitch has been undergoing major renovation and development. The latest and landmark renovation was in 2015 when they introduce underground soil heating, hybrid grass, underground drainage and irrigation systems.
The pitch seats on 103 meters by 67 meters which further stretch meters between the playing pitch and the sheds.
This is a merchandise store for the club where football jerseys, playing kits, jackets branded Chelsea are being sold.
This is a place that houses shirts,jersey that have been used by the club since it foundations.
The museum was opened to mark the 100th year anniversary of the club and it is the largest museum among London Club’s in London.
The writings on the museum wall include the favorite quotes of Jose Mourinho ” Am not from the bottle, am Special one”.
The current owners of Chelsea club is Chelsea pitch Owners.
Stamford Bridge’s current capacity is 40,834 and the projected plan by the management is to expand the stadium to 60,000 capacity by the year 2021.
The lowest record of fans who have attended a single match was in the year 1906 when Chelsea was playing against Lincoln where the number was 3000.
The highest number of fans that have ever gone toe Stamford bridge to watch a match was between Arsenal and Chelsea on October 1935 where attendee were 82,905
Corona Virus pandemic resulted in the banning of fans from attending matches in various football clubs including Stamford Bridge.
Future of the Stamford Bridge
The stadium has been undergoing major renovations and redevelopment since its conception. With major renovations happening in the 1990s where the stadium was converted to be a modern stadium.
The club had planned to further expand the capacity of the stadium by the year 2024.
This planned by the club seem to be challenging for the club as it is faced with little space for expansions, legal hurdles where the residents neighboring the club have complained about the threat of being prevented from assessing natural light if the stadium is expanded.
The management of the club has issued a statement that all expansions related activities of the stadium had been suspended.
According to the cub’s owner Roman Abramovich, club expansion is not favorable investment to make now.
We will keep you updated on all activities related to Stamford Bridge.