Chelsea applies for all-day drinking and music licence

Stamford Bridge in London, England

Featured image credit: Daniel/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size

Stamford Bridge in London, England

Featured image credit: Daniel/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size

Chelsea FC has applied for permission to host hospitality events at Stamford Bridge until 11pm at night throughout the year.

A submission has been made to the local Hammersmith & Fulham Council for a premises licence to permit licensable activities around the concourse of the 41,000-capacity stadium.

Licensable activities sought include the exhibition of films, the performance of live music, the playing of recorded music both indoors and outdoors, and the sale of alcohol. The application covers the hours of 10am until 11pm every day of the year. The concourse would be accessible all day throughout the year.

The plan has been met by opposition from local residents, with more than 35 comments attached to the application already.

Local resident Kate Reardon wrote: “It appears they’re applying for some sort of version of Glastonbury meets Munich’s Oktoberfest for stadium-capacity crowds, 365 days a year.

“It will destroy our lives. Already on match days, locals have profoundly compromised access to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital because ambulances can’t get through.

“If alcohol is sold until 11 o’clock at night, and they’re open 24 hours a day, how on earth will they police the noise and the disruption?”

Another local resident, Briony Eastman, wrote: “I moved with my young family to this neighbourhood 28 years ago knowing about the football matches and have lived here happily, accommodating the football crowds, as there are excellent transport facilities, shops and schools.

“But we didn’t expect it to become a music and film venue, where alcohol can be freely drunk on the premises and in the Fulham Road, risking the area becoming an unacceptable place for people, families and communities wanting to be safe.”

The Daily Mail reported that it is thought that the application by the club – which was bought by American billionaire Todd Boehly earlier this year – is merely intended to improve fans’ experience on matchdays and does not extend to standalone concerts or one-off events.

Last month, Chelsea director Jonathan Goldstein said the English Premier League football club is aiming to commence the planning process to redevelop Stamford Bridge “during the course of the next year”. The club is reportedly planning a “major upgrade” of the 40,000-capacity stadium, with a renovation of the West Stand to be central to the plans.