|Chelsea Looks at Ways of Expanding Stamford Bridge|
Ideas to increase crowd capacity include decking over railway cuttings
Chelsea Football Club has announced it is looking at ways of expanding its current home at Stamford Bridge to increase the stadium's capacity from the current 41,000 n to 60,000 supporters.
The club’s owner, Roman Abramovich, has commissioned a study of the entire area inside and outside the ground at Chelsea Village on Fulham Road.
The cub has asked local architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands for suggestions, which could include decking over the railway cuttings to the north and east which could allow the capacity of the stadium to be increased and could reduce congestion on Fulham Road during matchdays.
The club's statement says: " A study of the area from Fulham Broadway town centre to Stamford Bridge and beyond has been commissioned by Chelsea Football Club's owner Roman Abramovich.
" This study will review the potential for improvements to publicly-owned areas along Fulham Road and the area around the football ground, including the possibility of decking over the railway lines to the east and north of the ground.
" This could create landscaped public walkways and cycleways, while also reducing pedestrian traffic on Fulham Road and nearby streets on matchdays.
" The study will also assess the feasibility of an expansion of the stadium within the existing historic site boundaries, potentially to enlarge its capacity, enhance its facilities and improve the movement of people and vehicles on match and non-matchdays.
" As a first step, a consultation will take place with local stakeholders, including community and residents' groups, for opinions on the existing conditions in the area.
" The consultation will not concern itself with any design or details of a redevelopment on the stadium site. Instead it will ask about the surrounding publicly-owned areas and in particular the civic infrastructure necessary to ensure a successful and feasible redevelopment.
" We will keep our supporters informed as the study progresses."
The club had been looking at moving away from its historic home, with rumours of a move to Earls Court and a failed attempt to buy land at Battersea Power Station.
Chelsea Pitch Owners, the group of fans who own the freehold at Stamford Bridge, have welcomed the news with their owner statement. They say: " The Board of CPO can confirm that we were contacted yesterday by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, the company commissioned by Chelsea Football Club's owner Roman Abramovich to assess the possibilities for improving the area surrounding Stamford Bridge, a process that could potentially lead to an expansion in capacity at the stadium.
" We welcomed the approach and are in the process of arranging a consultation meeting with them. We will report back to shareholders after this has taken place."
July 2, 2014