Chelsea is reportedly considering building a new £2bn (€2.3bn/$2.4bn) stadium on the site of Stamford Bridge, with the Premier League club potentially facing up to four years at a temporary home while the work is carried out.
The Daily Mail has reported that Chelsea owner Todd Boehly has “informally approached” Fulham owner Shahid Khan about using the latter’s Craven Cottage during the construction phase.
The report adds that Chelsea could use Craven Cottage for the majority of its league games, with the larger Wembley and Twickenham under consideration for higher-profile fixtures.
Fulham previously played matches at Loftus Road, the home of its West London rival Queens Park Rangers, while Craven Cottage underwent renovation work. Tottenham Hotspur also spent time at Wembley while the club built its state-of-the-art new stadium across the road from the old White Hart Lane.
Reports emerged in December that Boehly had committed to a major redevelopment of Stamford Bridge. It came after Chelsea director Jonathan Goldstein said in October that the club was aiming to commence the planning process to redevelop Stamford Bridge “during the course of the next year”.
With a capacity of around 40,000, Stamford Bridge is the smallest stadium of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ and the club has been seeking to expand the venue for a number of years. Recent reports have suggested that Chelsea could consider building a new 60,000-seat stadium in Earl’s Court but a redevelopment of the Stamford Bridge site now appears to be the club’s preferred option.
A consortium led by Boehly and Clearlake Capital completed its acquisition of Chelsea in May last year, with the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge among the areas of investment outlined by the club’s new owners.
Boehly and Clearlake Capital made a £4.25bn 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 Daily Mail reports that the pitch at the new stadium may need to be rotated by 90 degrees due to construction challenges posed by railway and tube lines, an underground river and a nearby cemetery.
The report adds that the cost of the project could exceed £2bn due to the rising price of materials, as well as restrictions relating to traffic and noise. A tentative opening date of 2030 has reportedly been set by the club.
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.