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Long post but interesting, it involves the old East stand so thought it was relevant for here.
Ps it's not me!

Got to meet a couple of people closely involved in the project, yesterday at the ground, and had an interesting Q&A session. They were pretty open with me, and they were happy for me to share the below info to the public (apart from some other confidential things that I have left out).

Reason why there has not been much communication from the club with regards to the development, is that since the planning permission was granted earlier in the year, there has been 'slow but significant progress' with regards to the discussion with the relevant parties (e.g. london underground etc) as well as the partners that will be involved in the construction process. They want to get all the finalization of the construction process/timeline (by mid-2018) so that it's ready to go (to avoid delays whilst we are away in a temporary stadium - not decided yet), before they start knocking down the non-football buildings like the hotels, apartments, gym and museum. They still hope to start demolishing these buildings around October 2018.

So until they have the final 'construction' plans ready, there isn't anything significant to announce in terms of update. However, whilst the final legalities are being sorted out (which they do not anticipate being a problem: the granted planning permission cannot be challenged in court anymore, and includes the permission to build over the railway tracks), the project team together with Herzog & de Meuron, have been looking of ways at improving the inside of the stadium which HdM will be fitting out themselves (with obvious consultation with the M&E people and the fans), so it will not be cheap!

One possible change is that the Northwest and Southwest corners of the stadium, which are at its narrowest and smallest in terms of height (I would have included the plans on here for clarity, but happy for someone to show me how to upload directly from my computer), will now be a 2 tier area instead of the 3 tier like the rest of the stadium. The lower tier will remain the same, but the middle & upper tiers in these corners will become one. This will increase the area of concourse in those corners which was very tight, and would also mass the supporters 'better' as the upper tier in those 2 corners in the last plans were very small indeed. I personally liked the idea, and one of the guys said that he thinks they've got the design of the tiers and inside the stadium pretty much as best as they can now in terms of optimizing the experience inside the stadium. HdM are just finalizing how the 2 tier corners will blend with the rest of the 3 tiers on either sides of them. The away fans may be moved further sideways, than originally planned, to this new 2 tier area of the Southwest corner.

Also of note, we're looking more at a final capacity in the 59,000s rather than a 60k+ capacity. Even if we incorporated standing in the future, it would only add approx a further 1,000 seats. They don't think it is about cramming more seats in just for the sake of beating Tottenham's new ground capacity: there is always be newer and bigger stadiums. The seat widths are already 'cosier' than NWHL, but will still definitely be better than current seats. They did confirm that we will not be able to expand further in the future (when I pointed out that the West stand was only built 17 years ago and we're already going to tear it down due to demand), and this is a stadium for the next 100 years.

They are confident that by the time the new stadium opens (be it in 5-6 years' time), it will be the best football stadium in terms of fan experience, possibly even in Europe. They admit that NWHL will be an 'incredible' stadium but it has been designed to host other sports and events, whilst Abramovich was adamant that this would be a football only stadium. They will also have learnt about the best (and bad) bits of the new stadia being constructed in Europe (not just NWHL - they will also likely have their 'own version of the tunnel club'). They are hoping that by the time the stadium opens, the 'journey' of getting to your seats from outside the ground will be seamless with the new technology that might be available by then. They are very much banking on the 'next generation stadium' concept in terms of experience and technology even if the outside will be gothic looking and iconic in its own way (the outside look has not changed since the last published plans).

Personally, it was reassuring to know that slow but steady progress was being achieved, and the project is still very much on. Expect to have a separate microsite up and running on the web over the next 6 weeks, with regards to the new stadium after which, once the final design plans are confirmed, we'll start seeing more information/renders as time goes. They will be engaging with the fans and community throughout this process (as they have done upto now) onto the construction phase to still see what they'd like incorporated inside the stadium (like different memorabilia, finishing, etc) as the final fit outs by HdM won't be done until much later during the construction.

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  • 2 weeks later...
16 minutes ago, Zeta said:

Time we get there 60k will be to small!! Considering the capacity increase is not huge amounts bigger for the everyday supporter, and a lot of the increase is corporate seats, o well we'd miss the virtual waiting room if it wasn't there!!!!!!

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By the time we actually move in to the re-built bridge i'll be mid 50s & some of my mates touching 70!

There's a few things that stand out in the article above, 1 the club saying they have looked at 8 venues around the M25 for us to possibly use as a temporary home, that worries me we could end up playing "home" games miles away.

2 The club said local residents would get 3,000 tickets for home games, thats nice isnt it so some locals who never go to games will get tickets while us fans who have been going for 40 years will possibly struggle for tickets.

3 away fans will still be in the shed albeit the west stand side, that pisses me off, imagine away fans in the Kop/Stretford end/North bank to name a few, it just wouldnt happen even in todays modern day football.

I cant help thinking this has been a major balls up by the club, from the fiasco regarding CPO shares to the Battersea project, it seems like we're trying to catch up with Arsenal/Spurs & West Ham, i'm surprised Roman didnt look in to a re-build when he first bought the club.

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Oh for goodness sake. I dont even care anymore. Delays upon delays. Out of the top 6 clubs we have the smallest stadium. And you know what? Who cares. 41K capacity stadium it is for us and I don't mind it. By the time we move to our new stadium Spurs and Arsenal will be looking to increase their capacity to 70k. We will always be playing catch up. Regarding stadiums, I've lost interest now. I'd rather us be competitive on the pitch. 

What worries is me the most is if we play during those 4 seasons away from the bridge. If it's not wembley then it will be a shambles. Lol imagine playing at Craven Cottage. 4 seasons of mediocrity incoming. 

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IMO the exterior of the stadium is irrelevant. What is important is the interior and how everything is constructed. From the dugouts to the stands to pitch. Latest technology, innovation everything needs to be included in the new stadium if they are taking this long to make it. Capacity is irrelevant since it will mostly be corporate seats anyway that will increase. But the actual layout and aesthetics needs to be top class, best in England. 

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So if these local residents get 3,000 seats then really the majority of the capacity increase won't be for supporters. Can't imagine then that the atmosphere will get any better in the slightest. That's about 12 - 13,000 seats that won't be going to serious supporters. Those people will be as productive to the atmosphere as empty seats so, at best, there's gonna be at 48 - 47,000 of us. It's going to be a tough 4 years wherever we go.

Edited by boomerdog
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IMO the exterior of the stadium is irrelevant. What is important is the interior and how everything is constructed. From the dugouts to the stands to pitch. Latest technology, innovation everything needs to be included in the new stadium if they are taking this long to make it. Capacity is irrelevant since it will mostly be corporate seats anyway that will increase. But the actual layout and aesthetics needs to be top class, best in England. 
To be fair it needs to be awesome inside and out. You don't build these every year. People go to see Sydney operahouse without any interest to opera.

I think the design (of the new SB) is good but not unique.
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5 minutes ago, evissy said:

To be fair it needs to be awesome inside and out. You don't build these every year. People go to see Sydney operahouse without any interest to opera.

I think the design (of the new SB) is good but not unique.

I agree it needs to be a complete stadium but clearly this project cannot produce a champions league final venue type of ground. But as long as the interior of the stadium is one that drastically increases atmosphere and viewing experience, then no one will really care. HdM say this stadium will be the best in Europe in terms of match day experience, I really hope that is the case. 

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4 hours ago, Carshalton Blue said:

By the time we actually move in to the re-built bridge i'll be mid 50s & some of my mates touching 70!

There's a few things that stand out in the article above, 1 the club saying they have looked at 8 venues around the M25 for us to possibly use as a temporary home, that worries me we could end up playing "home" games miles away.

2 The club said local residents would get 3,000 tickets for home games, thats nice isnt it so some locals who never go to games will get tickets while us fans who have been going for 40 years will possibly struggle for tickets.

3 away fans will still be in the shed albeit the west stand side, that pisses me off, imagine away fans in the Kop/Stretford end/North bank to name a few, it just wouldnt happen even in todays modern day football.

I cant help thinking this has been a major balls up by the club, from the fiasco regarding CPO shares to the Battersea project, it seems like we're trying to catch up with Arsenal/Spurs & West Ham, i'm surprised Roman didnt look in to a re-build when he first bought the club.

 

The club had to get this through the local council's planning department, and through the residents, so they probably felt they had no choice but to offer tickets to locals. Besides, at least 3000 residents from the local borough already go to games, so this may make no difference at all. Either way, our capacity will increase by about 18000, so even allowing for more corporate seats and more tickets for local residents, there will still be more tickets available for other fans.

 

Remember this isn't an area that needs regeneration. It's far harder to convince the local council than it is for other clubs in other areas, and we have to do all that we can to achieve that aim.

 

Regarding away fans, the club's hands are pretty tied, because of the lack of space and egress issues. Rather than this being a balls-up by the club, if we manage to pull this off, I think the club will deserve massive credit. Remember most fans wanted us to stay at SB, a site of about 12 acres. West Ham's stadium is bigger than our whole site, to put that into perspective. It's generally acknowledged you need a site of about 20 acres to build a 60k stadium within it. It seemed impossible but by building over the tracks and creating two new points of egress the architects will possibly manage to achieve the improbable. As for those other sites, they were probably not even viable in the first place.

 

In terms of a stadium project, Chelsea has far more obstacles to overcome than any other club I can think of. There really wasn't any easy solution to this, otherwise the club would have done it years ago. I'm sure Roman would have loved to build a brand new stadium on a new plot of land, with loads of space, both inside and out, but I'm sure that proved a lot easier said than done.

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Arsenal already upgrading the corporate at the emerites now with spurs state of the art corporate features taking it to another level.
Liverpool close to pushing ahead with further epansion beyond 60k.
We are fallin g behind off the pitch as the bridge looks small-time compaired to our rivals.
Thing is will Roman bankroll us futher ?

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Linking the debates on pubs and the 3,000 tickets for locals, I think some people, even Chelsea fans are not quite aware just how many council and housing association estates there are in the vicinity of the stadium.   It's often thought as a 'well to do' area and sure enough, there has been much gentrification over the years exemplified by the aforementioned gastro-pub.   We do mourn the loss or change of many a once favourite boozer.  But when you visit other clubs, you realise we are still very well catered for, compared to others.   Some pubs and bars have shut but others have opened.   If looking for what might be a no frills but 'proper football pub' there are still ones located near those housing estates.  Haven't been there for a while but 'Rileys' on the King's Road was always decked out in blue.  There's the 'Queen Elizabeth' down Bagley's Lane which is the Pearscroft Estate's local.  £3.60 for a pint of Carling in there and in a proper glass too.  'The Goose' up North End Road as well.  'The Chelsea Pensioner'  is nicely festooned with CFC flags on matchdays.   

I think it's a good idea to offer up a certain amount of tickets to locals.  Stamford Bridge must be one of the worst for not having a partisan home club supporting population surrounding it.   Gentrification and the amount of non Fulham and Chelsea natives who have moved into the area over the years has seen to that.   Your more likely to find a pub that gets full to watch Rugby Union internationals, not even involving England.    Fulham have been very successful in offering discounted tickets for local youngsters and a bigger capacity stadium would give Chelsea much more scope to do likewise.  Of course, more of the match-going support coming from the locality also eases the traffic and parking situation as well as the pressure on public transport, especially post match.  And that may have been a sweetener for the council to help the planning application through.

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Chelsea have doubled the projected cost of their new stadium to £1billion, which will make it the most expensive in Europe.  

Roman Abramovich held talks with Chinese businessmen earlier this month about an investment of over £500million in their redevelopment of Stamford Bridge. 

But the initial £500m cost, which was earmarked when the club received planning permission back in January, has been significantly hiked.

Antonio Conte's side will spend the next two-and-a-half years at their existing home before development begins in earnest.

Chelsea will then, however, face an extended four-year exile from the Bridge while works take place — most likely at Wembley, although they are still looking at as many as eight sites.

With those schedule changes, the Blues’ first game at their new ground has been pencilled in for the opening fixture of the 2024-25 season.

Demolition of the current stadium’s surroundings and building work on the adjacent railway line is planned to start next year.


 

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1 hour ago, BelgradeCFC said:

Chelsea have doubled the projected cost of their new stadium to £1billion, which will make it the most expensive in Europe.  

Roman Abramovich held talks with Chinese businessmen earlier this month about an investment of over £500million in their redevelopment of Stamford Bridge. 

But the initial £500m cost, which was earmarked when the club received planning permission back in January, has been significantly hiked.

Antonio Conte's side will spend the next two-and-a-half years at their existing home before development begins in earnest.

Chelsea will then, however, face an extended four-year exile from the Bridge while works take place — most likely at Wembley, although they are still looking at as many as eight sites.

With those schedule changes, the Blues’ first game at their new ground has been pencilled in for the opening fixture of the 2024-25 season.

Demolition of the current stadium’s surroundings and building work on the adjacent railway line is planned to start next year.


 

One billion?? Where did you get that from? It sounds like a figure thought up during a editorial meeting in an all-night pub.

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Chelsea have significantly increased the projected cost of redeveloping Stamford Bridge to more than £1 billion, which would make it the most expensive stadium in Europe.

The club have yet to reveal a price for the ambitious project but The Times has learnt that internal discussions have placed the cost at double the £500 million that was estimated when they received planning permission for the 60,000-capacity stadium from Hammersmith and Fulham council in January.

Chelsea’s plans, drawn up by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, are among the most ambitious and complex stadium-design projects attempted. The cost of building Tottenham Hotspur’s new ground, which is due to open at the start of next season, has almost doubled to £800 million and Chelsea’s stunning rebuild could finish up costing more than £1 billion.

One source familiar with the project suggested that it may ultimately cost more than the Atlanta Falcons’ Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the New York Giants’ MetLife Stadium, the two NFL “super stadiums” that were both built for approximately £1.2 billion and are thought to be the most expensive in the world.

Chelsea attribute the spiralling cost to factors relating to the length and complexity of the build, which at a projected five or six years is considerably longer than Tottenham’s two-year project. The club are hoping to begin infrastructure work next year but, as The Times revealed in May, they will not vacate the stadium until 2020, when they will move to a temporary home for three or four years.

Because of this time frame, a number of external factors could affect the costs and have led to the club’s budget revision, including increasing commodity costs, a worsening exchange rate and a possible economic downturn after the UK leaves the European Union in 2019.

Chelsea officials described their proposed stadium as “a cathedral of football” at a recent fans’ forum attended by Bruce Buck, the chairman, and Marina Granovskaia, a director.

The club will pay a high price for the bold design and several unavoidable infrastructure problems unique to the site. In order to ensure safe access for fans and create enough space for a bigger stadium in a residential area of west London, Chelsea must build over the District Underground Line and the Southern main line, which pass close to Stamford Bridge. The plans state that the club will install decking over both lines to provide direct access to Fulham Broadway Underground station, with trains running directly under the new East Stand, while the existing pitch will be lowered to create room for the bigger stands.

The external design is also extremely lavish, with an outer façade to be created by 246 brick columns separated by decorations to create a structure intended to resemble a temple. Demolition work on part of the existing site, starting with the Millennium & Copthorne hotels, is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of next year.

Chelsea are talking to several investment banks about financing the project rather than relying solely on funds provided by Roman Abramovich, the owner, as well as attempting to sell a naming-rights package that will retain Stamford Bridge in the title.

Chelsea declined to comment on the plans last night.

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