Stamford Bridge Stadium is located in Fulham, London and is the home of Chelsea Football Club. The stadium is situated within the “Moore Park Estate” also known as Walham Green to the locals, and is often referred to as simply The Bridge by Chelsea fans.
Stamford Bridge is one of London’s most iconic stadiums and is certainly a landmark within European football. The stadium originally opened in 1877, and used by the “London Athletic Club” until 1905, when new owner Gus Mears founded Chelsea Football Club to occupy the ground, and it’s been Chelsea’s home ever since. It has undergone numerous major re-developments over the years, with the most recent in the 1990s, when it was renovated into a modern all-seater stadium.
Over the years, Stamford Bridge has been used as a venue for England international matches, FA Cup Finals, FA Cup semi-finals and Charity Shield games. It has also hosted other sports, such as cricket, rugby union, speedway, greyhound racing, baseball and American football. The stadium’s highest official attendance is 82,905 for a league match between Chelsea and Arsenal on 12 October 1935.
Stamford Bridge Design
The first impressions of the stadium are quite impressive, even though it’s located in an urban district, the design is contemporary and certainly blends well with its surroundings. One major feature of Stamford Bridge is large hotel complex located just behind the shed end.
This is some-what a unique feature and is pretty much visible from the moment your eyes see the ground. With re-developments only being completed in the 1990’s, the ground is completely enclosed, with modern facades on the outside of all stands. Stamford Bridge has four stands, these are the Matthew Harding stand, the East Stand, the West Stand and the Shed End.
The Matthew Harding Stand, previously known as “the North Stand”, is along the north edge of the pitch and houses 10,000 home fans. It is named after former Chelsea director Matthew Harding, whose investment helped transform the club in the early 1990s before his death in a helicopter accident on 22 October 1996. It has two tiers and accommodates most season-ticket holders, giving it an excellent atmosphere, especially in the lower tier.
The East Stand is the “oldest” stand at the current ground, having been re-built for the 1973 season. It is the “heart” of the stadium, housing the tunnel, dugout, dressing rooms, conference room, press centre, AV and commentary box. The middle tier is occupied by facilities, clubs, and executive suites. The upper tier provides spectators with one of the best views of the pitch and it is the only section to have survived the extensive redevelopment of the 1990s.
Opposite the East Stand is the West stand. The old West Stand was demolished in 1997 and replaced by the current West Stand. It has three tiers, in addition to a row of executive boxes that stretches the length of the stand. The stand is the main external ‘face’ of the stadium, being the first thing fans see when entering the primary gate on Fulham Road.
Next to the West Stand is the “Shed End” which is located along the south side of the pitch, opposite the Matthew Harding Stand. The view from the upper tier is widely regarded as one of the best in the stadium. At the back of the Shed End, you will find two hotels, apartments, bars and restaurants.
Since 2005, the Shed End has been the home for away supporters, they are generally allocated 3,000 tickets towards the east side, roughly half of the capacity of the stand.
There is a range of food and drink on offer, but like a number of London Clubs it is quite pricey. Correct at the time of publication Cheeseburgers (£4.90), Hot Dogs (£4.50), Pasties (£4.50), Tandoori Chicken Wraps (£5) and Vegetarian Pasties (£5). Alcohol is also available. Generally speaking, the pubs near the Stamford Bridge ground can be “partisan”, so its recommend getting a drink somewhere on the journey. A number of away fans drink in the pubs around the Earl’s Court, which is only a couple of tube stops away from Fulham Broadway station.
Home supporters have 103 disabled spaces in total, 100 spaces are at pitch level in the West Stand. These are split between 50 free places on a rota system and 50 paid for on a match by match basis, plus their PA’s. Pitchside positions give partial cover. There are 3 elevated positions at the North end of the East Stand with helpers alongside.
The number of away spaces for non-ambulant supporters is 5 located on an elevated platform behind the away fans with their PA seating in the row in front of the platform. Away disabled supporters are located in the Shed End Lower.
The nearest tube station is Fulham Broadway which is on the District Line. The nearest over ground train station is West Brompton, which is served by trains from Clapham Junction (which is in turn served by trains from London Waterloo and Victoria stations). Stamford Bridge is around a 15 minute walk to the ground from West Brompton station.
If you’re travelling by Car then leave the M25 at Junction 15, and take the M4 heading towards London, which then becomes the A4 up to Hammersmith. Carry on over the Hammersmith flyover and after a further one and half miles, take the turning Earls Court. Continue past Earls Court station and down the one way system until you reach the junction with Fulham Road. At this junction, turn right at the traffic lights and after about half a mile, you will see the ground on your right hand side.
It was announced on 5 January 2017 that the planners at Hammersmith and Fulham council had approved the redevelopment of the Stamford Bridge Stadium. This means during the seasons of 2018–19, 2019–20, and 2020–21, Chelsea will play home games at Wembley Stadium. They will return to Stamford Bridge from the 2021–22 season. The whole of Chelsea village will be demolished and the new stadium will include a new club shop, museum, a bar and restaurant. The two existing hotels, restaurants, bars and spa will be relocated.
For more information about Stamford Bridge, please Click Here to visit Chelsea Football Club’s official website.