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New Chelsea owners planning Stamford Bridge improvements

The new owners of Premier League club Chelsea are reportedly planning a range of upgrades at Stamford Bridge, with the work to be focused on improving the stadium’s overall look.

According to The Telegraph, the club will invest in a “major upgrade” of the 40,000-capacity stadium, with a renovation of the West Stand to be central to the plans.

A consortium led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital completed its acquisition of Chelsea in March, with the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge among the areas of investment outlined by the club’s new owners.

Boehly and Clearlake Capital have made a £4.25bn (€5.02bn/$5.19bn) commitment to Chelsea, with an initial £2.5bn having been paid to purchase the club. A further £1.75bn investment will be made over the next 10 years.

The first details of Boehly’s Stamford Bridge plans have now emerged, with The Telegraph reporting that a number of club murals will be placed around the stadium to create a greater sense of belonging among supporters.

Illuminated letters spelling out ‘Chelsea FC’ and a new club crest will be placed on the West Stand, while the East Stand will feature a mural with words from Chelsea chants. The capacity of Stamford Bridge is not set to increase following these upgrades.

Janet Marie Smith is said to have been tasked with overseeing the project. Smith has worked on renovation projects at a number of venues in the US, including Dodger Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, which Boehly part-owns.

Chelsea was given permission to expand the capacity of Stamford Bridge back in January 2017 but the plans were put on hold in May 2018 due to what the club described at the time as the “unfavourable investment climate”. In March 2020, Chelsea said it would continue to consider options for a new stadium “should economic conditions improve” but no major progress has been made since then.

Image: Daniel/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size