Stamford Bridge

Stamford Bridge is one of the oldest stadiums in England and home to Chelsea FC. It has a current capacity of 41,837 seats.

The stadium officially opened on the 28th of April 1877, however for the first 28 years of its existence it was primarily used as an athletics venue. After a major redevelopment at the turn of the century the stadium was offered to Fulham FC, but after they turned down the offer, newly formed Chelsea FC moved in.

The stadium initially included a main stand on one end and a vast open bowl of terraces covering the other three ends. An estimated 100,000 people could fit into the stadium.

Further developments were made to the stadium in the 1930s with the construction of the Shed End, a vast terrace behind the goal, and the North Stand seating area. The club recorded its highest attendance in 1935 during a match against Arsenal. A total of 82,905 fans visited the ground that day.

In the 60s and 70s the West and East Stand were completely rebuild and the number of seating areas increased further. The construction of the new East Stand however had such an effect on Chelsea’s finances that the club was almost forced into bankruptcy. As a consequence the Stamford Bridge site was sold to property developers in order to pay off some debts, which almost resulted in Chelsea being evicted and forced to ground share with Fulham or QPR. After a long fight the club won back ownership in 1992, however during the years in between no rebuilding nor refurbishments had been made to the ground.

In 1994 the club started with a grand redevelopment project, which would lead to the rebuilding of three stands and the complete refurbishment of the East Stand, all in a time span of 8 years. The stadium was completely renovated before the 2001/2002 season.

The club has the desire to further increase capacity of Stamford Bridge, however finds itself limited by the location of the stadium and the resulting planning and safety requirements. Other options include moving to a new site altogether, however this hinges on the approval of the current owners of the land Stamford Bridge is built on, and who seem to be reluctant to sell their shares to the club. Therefore currently any future plans are tentative at best.

Getting there

Stamford Bridge lies rather central in London, in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, less than 2 miles south-west of sights such as Hyde Park and the Harrods Store, and less than 3 miles south-west of Buckingham Palace.

The nearest tube station is Fulham Broadway, which lies on the District Line. Take a Wimbledon-bound train from Earl’s Court station. However, Earl’s Court station itself, on the Circle and Piccadilly line, is also within walking distance of the stadium (20 minutes).

Alternatively one can reach Stamford Bridge by London Overground rail. Both West Brompton and Imperial Wharf stations are a 15-minute walk from the stadium.

Buses that pass the stadium on Fulham Road are line 14 (from Euston Square to Putney), line 211 (from Waterloo Station to Hammersmith), and line 414 (from Maida Vale to Putney Bridge).

Other lines that pass in the vicinity of the stadium are bus 11 (from Liverpool Street Station), 28 (Kensal Rise),  296 (Ladbroke Grove and Clapham Junction), and 391 (Richmond).

Chelsea FC does not recommend arriving by car on matchdays as no parking is available. On non-matchdays limited paid parking is available underneath the stadium. From the M25 take the M4 (which turns into the A4) into the city.  At Earl’s Court turn right onto Earl’s Court Road, and after about a mile right onto Fulham Road. After a few hundred yards the stadium will be on your right.

Address: Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, London, SW6 1HS

Tickets

Tickets for Chelsea FC games can be purchased online, by phone 0 871 984 1905 (Chelsea members only), or at the box office at the stadium (if still available).

Chelsea uses three pricing categories. Tickets for category AA+ matches cost between £61.00 and £87.00, those for category A matches between £57.00 and £75.00, and those for category B matches between £52.00 and £70.00. Chelsea members have priority buying tickets and receive discounted prices.

Most Chelsea matches sell out and important matches will go on sale for Chelsea members only.

For more information call 0 871 984 1905 (UK) or +44 207 835 6000 (international).

Stadium tours

Chelsea FC offers guided behind-the-scenes stadium tours that last about 60 minutes. The tours visit the home dressing room, the players’ tunnel, press room, and include access to the Chelsea museum.

The tours run every day of the week every half an hour, with the first tour departing at 10:00 am and the last at 3:00 pm. No tours run on matchdays and the day before a home Champions League match. The museum is opened until 5:00 pm with the last entry at 4:00 pm. It is opened on matchdays as well, however opening times may vary.

The tour costs £18.00, museum access only £10.00. A discount of £2.00 is offered if booked in advance online. Walk-ups are allowed, however subject to availability. Bookings can be made online or by phone 0 871 984 1955.

For more information call 0 871 984 1955 (UK) or +44 20 7386 9373 (international), or email tours@chelseafc.com.

Relevant Internet links:

Chelseafc.com – Official website of Chelsea FC.
Visitlondon.com – Official London city guide.
Tfl.gov.uk – Website of the London Underground and other London public transport.
Journeyplanner.org – Plan your journey around London (public transport).

Tags: 1877, Chelsea FC, England, London, Premier League

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