Chelsea’s planning application for a new 60,000-seat ground, on the site of Stamford Bridge, has revealed the full scale of what will be the country’s most ambitious stadium build yet.
On Tuesday, 160 documents were published featuring images of the Blues’ planned new home, with work on the £600million-plus, three-year project expected to be signed off in the summer.
Provided they get the necessary backing in the now-launched consultation period, Chelsea could begin life at a revamped Stamford Bridge on the first day of the 2020-2021 season.
However, the new design hasn’t gone down well with all football fans, with some claiming the stadium will look like a colander, a Slinky toy or an egg slicer.
Roman Abramovich’s design team, spearheaded by Herzog & de Meuron – most famous for their work on Bayern Munich’s incredible Allianz Arena and the beautiful Beijing Bird’s Nest – have produced a new 60,000-capacity ground that draws Westminster Abbey among its influences.
As revealed by Sportsmail’s Charles Sale earlier this week, the stands will have the same names so fans can stay in their favoured place. This is because at two public exhibitions to showcase the plans, which drew a 93 per cent approval rate, the most common question fans asked stadium planners was where their seat would be.
Methods of keeping the neighbours onside will also be explored with apprentice schemes to learn building skills during construction and ensuring minimum disruption by employing Keltbray, the firm who are painstakingly bringing down Earls Court Exhibition Centre brick by brick.
And there is further good news for supporters, with one of Stamford Bridge’s defining features – the stands’ close proximity to the pitch – being maintained.
The Chelsea fans’ closeness to the action is seen as the top redeeming aspect of the atmosphere at SW6, and the new ground sees seats placed as little as 7.2metres from the players.