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Top facts about Stamford Bridge, The Shed

Facts and details about the home stadium of one of the most prestigious clubs competing in the top division of English football.

Stamford Bridge is a football stadium in Fulham, South West London, adjacent to the Chelsea borough. It is the home of Chelsea, a Premier League club. With a capacity of 40,834, it is the Premier League's ninth-largest venue for the 2021–22 season.

The London Athletic Club used the stadium until 1905 when new owner Gus Mears created Chelsea Football Club to occupy the space; Chelsea have played their home games there ever since. It has undergone numerous transformations over the years, the most recent of which occurred in the 1990s when it was converted into a modern, all-seater stadium.

England international matches, FA Cup Finals, FA Cup semi-finals, and Charity Shield games have all taken place at Stamford Bridge. Cricket, rugby union, speedway, greyhound racing, baseball, and American football are among the various sports that have been held there. The stadium's greatest official attendance is 82,905, which occurred on October 12, 1935, during a league match between Chelsea and Arsenal.

The London Athletic Club built the Bridge in 1877, and it was almost solely utilized for that purpose until 1904. Following the establishment of the football club, the requirement for a ground necessitated the construction of a pitch. Significant enhancements to the undersoil-heating, drainage, and irrigation systems were completed in June 2015.

The surface was brought up to modern standards after a new hybrid grass pitch was installed. The current pitch at the ground is 103 meters (112.6 yards) long and 67 meters (73.2 yards) wide, with a few meters of run-off area on all sides.

Top facts about Stamford Bridge you need to know

We’ll try to cover as many important subjects as we can to make sure that you won’t miss anything major that has happened throughout all the years the venue has been up.

Stamford Bridge History - 1870s to 1960s

The name "Stamford Bridge" is thought to be derived from "Samfordesbrigge," which means "the bridge at the sandy ford."

A "Stanford Creek" is depicted as a tributary of the Thames on maps from the eighteenth century, running along the length of what is now a railway line at the rear of the East Stand.

Billingswell Ditch, Pools Creek, and Counters Creek have all been names for the upper reaches of this tributary.

Billingwell Dyche, derived from "Billing's spring or stream," was the name of the creek in medieval times.

It was the dividing line between Kensington and Fulham parishes. The creek was renamed Counter's Creek in the 18th century, and it has had that name ever since.

Stamford Bridge on the Fulham Road (also known as Little Chelsea Bridge) and Stanbridge on the King's Road, now known as Stanley Bridge, were two of the stream's local bridges.

The current Stamford Bridge was built of brick between 1860 and 1862 and has been partially reconstructed since then, one of the Top facts about Stamford Bridge.

The London Athletic Club's home, Stamford Bridge, opened in 1877 and was almost entirely used for that purpose until 1904 when the lease was purchased by brothers Gus and Joseph Mears, who planned to host high-profile professional football matches there. 

Stamford Bridge had previously hosted the World Shinty Championship between Beauly Shinty Club and London Camanachd in 1898.

Stamford Bridge was constructed near Lillie Bridge, an older sporting venue that had previously hosted the 1873 FA Cup Final and the first amateur boxing contests (among other things).

It was first offered to

Fulham Football Club

, but they declined due to budgetary constraints. The Mears decided to form their own football club,


, to compete with Fulham after considering selling the site to the Great Western Railway Company.

The stadium was designed by renowned football ground architect Archibald Leitch, who also designed Ibrox, Celtic Park, Craven Cottage, and Hampden Park.

Stamford Bridge stadium used to be served by a tiny railway station called Chelsea and Fulham, which was later closed during the World War II bombing, another one of the Top facts about Stamford Bridge.

Stamford Bridge had a capacity of roughly 100,000 people, making it England's second-largest stadium behind Crystal Palace.

It was the site of the FA Cup final. Stamford Bridge was originally built as an athletics track, with the pitch situated in the center of the running track. 

The width of the running track separated spectators from the field of play on all sides, and the separation was especially considerable on the north and south sides because the long sides of the running track significantly exceeded the length of the football pitch.

On the east side of the stadium, there was a single 5,000-seat stand. It was an exact copy of the Stevenage Road Stand that Archibald Leitch had previously designed at the redeveloped Craven Cottage (and the main reason why Fulham had chosen not to move into the new ground).

The other sides were all open in a huge bowl, and thousands of tonnes of material excavated during the Piccadilly line's construction supplied high terracing for standing spectators on the west side who were exposed to the elements.

One of the

Top facts about Stamford Bridge

is that it hosted one of the most memorable matches in its history in 1945. At the end of WWII, Soviet side FC Dynamo Moscow was invited to tour the United Kingdom, and Chelsea was the first team they faced.

Over 100,000 people packed into Stamford Bridge to watch a thrilling 3–3 draw, with many spectators on the dog track and on the tops of the stands.

Stamford Bridge History – 1970s to 1990s

The club's owners began on an expensive initiative to restore Stamford Bridge in the early 1970s. However, due to material shortages and a builders' strike, the cost of constructing the East Stand got out of control, leaving the rest of the stadium unaltered.

The new East Stand was completed, but much of the (unused) running tracks remained, and the new stand was moved around 20 meters away from the pitch. The plan was to reposition the entire stadium to the north.

The remaining stands, however, were not rebuilt for another two decades due to the financial circumstances in the mid-1970s, one of the Top facts about Stamford Bridge. Chelsea, meanwhile, struggled in the league, with attendances falling and debts rising.

In 1975 and 1979, the team was relegated to the Second Division, just surviving relegation to the Third Division in 1983, before returning to

the First Division

a year later.

The club's downfall was triggered by an increase in costs, which was worsened by other factors. The freehold was separated from the club as part of a financial restructuring in the late 1970s, and when new Chelsea chairman Ken Bates bought the club in 1982, he did not buy the ground.

Following that, a substantial portion of the freehold of Stamford Bridge was sold to property developers Marler Estates. The sale sparked a prolonged court battle between Bates and Marler Estates. After a market downturn in the early 1990s, Marler Estates was thrown into bankruptcy, allowing Bates to work out a deal with the banks and re-unite the freehold with the club.

Following a series of pitch invasions and battles by football hooligans during games at the stadium during the 1984–85 season, chairman Ken Bates installed an electrified perimeter fence between the stands and the pitch, identical to the one he used to keep animals on his dairy farm under control, one of the Top facts about Stamford Bridge.

The electric fence, on the other hand, was never turned on and was soon destroyed because the GLC forbade it from being turned on for health and safety reasons.

Chelsea's plan for a 34,000-seat stadium at Stamford Bridge was approved by Hammersmith and Fulham council on July 19, 1990, after the Taylor Report arising from the Hillsborough disaster was published in January 1990, ordering all top division clubs to have all-seater stadiums in time for the 1994–95 season.

The stadium's redevelopment began in the 1990s, with various phases demolishing the original running track. The track has been gradually being phased out since the erection of the East Stand some 20 years ago.

All of the stands, which are now roofed and all-seater, are right next to the pitch. The noise of supporters is captured and concentrated by this structure.

Chelsea Pitch Owners, an organization formed to prevent the stadium from being purchased by property developers, now owns the pitch, turnstiles, and naming rights of the club.

The whole redevelopment of Stamford Bridge Stadium, as well as its hotels, megastore, offices, and residential structures, was designed by KSS Design Group (architects).

Stamford Bridge Applications

From 1920 to 1922, Stamford Bridge hosted the FA Cup Final before being replaced by Wembley Stadium in 1923. It has hosted ten FA Cup semi-finals, eleven Charity Shield matches, and three


matches, the most recent of which took place in 1932.

It was one of the home venues for the original Inter-Cities Fairs Cup representative London XI team. The club drew 2–2 with

FC Barcelona

in the first leg of the two-legged final at Stamford Bridge; however, they lost 6–0 in the second game.

Since Chelsea has occupied the ground, it has also held a number of other sporting events. It hosted a rugby union game between the All Blacks and Middlesex in October 1905, as well as a baseball game between the visiting New York Giants and the Chicago White Sox in 1914.

Stamford Bridge hosted a Rugby League international between Great Britain and the New Zealand All Golds in 1908, with the All Golds winning 18–6. The stadium held the 1924 Women's Olympiad, the first international track and field event for women in the United Kingdom.

From 1929 to 1932, the stadium hosted a speedway team, which won the Southern League in their debut season. In 1928, open meetings were held there for the first time. Charlie Biddle, a nineteen-year-old junior rider, was killed in a racing accident. 

Black cinders were put on the track in 1931, making it suitable for speedway and athletics. In 1948, a midget car meeting drew an audience of 50,000 people, according to reports, one of the

Top facts about Stamford Bridge.

In 1980, the venue hosted the first major day-night floodlit cricket match, which was a financial success, between Essex and West Indies (although it was organized by Surrey); the following year, it hosted the final of the inaugural Lambert & Butler county cricket championship.

However, it was a failure, and the experiment of playing cricket on football fields came to an end. When the London Monarchs were headquartered there in 1997, Stamford Bridge briefly hosted American football despite not being long enough for a regulation-size gridiron field.

On July 31, 1933, the Greyhound Racing Association (GRA) brought greyhound racing to Stamford Bridge, forcing the London Athletic Club to vacate the arena. The totalisator turnover in 1946 was approximately £6 million (£5,749,592); in comparison, the British transfer record at the time was £14,500.

The GRA banned greyhound racing at Stamford Bridge on August 1, 1968, citing the reason that Stamford Bridge had to run on the same days as White City. Another one of the Top facts about Stamford Bridge is that Chelsea's efforts to bring greyhound racing back at Stamford Bridge in 1976 to help pay off debts was thwarted when the GRA rejected permission.

Stamford Bridge Additional Buildings

Many new features were added to Stamford Bridge during the Ken Bates period, including two hotels, apartments, bars, restaurants, the Chelsea Megastore, and an interactive visitor attraction called Chelsea World of Sport.

The goal was for these facilities to generate additional cash to support the football side of the business, but they were not as successful as planned, and the debt taken on to finance them was a big burden on the club prior to the Abramovich acquisition in 2003.

The decision to eliminate the "Chelsea Village" brand and refocus on Chelsea as a football club was made soon after the takeover.

The stadium is still referred to as part of Chelsea Village or "The Village" on occasion, one of the Top facts about Stamford Bridge.

To commemorate the club's 100th anniversary, a new club museum, known as the Chelsea Museum or the Centenary Museum, opened in 2005.

The museum is housed in what used to be the Shed Galleria. 

Visitors can stop by the WAGs lounge and see a video message from former Vice-President Richard Attenborough.

They are then taken on a decade-by-decade tour through the club's history, where they can see old programs, shirts from previous seasons,

Jose Mourinho

's coat, and other memorabilia.

On the museum's wall, there is a statement that reads: "I am not from the bottle. I am a special one," a reference to Mourinho's famous quote upon signing as manager for Chelsea. 

Behind the Matthew Harding stand opened a new museum on June 6, 2011, with upgraded and interactive exhibits.

It is London's largest football museum, another one of the

Top facts about Stamford Bridge.

The Megastore, the club's merchandise shop, is located on the stadium's southwest corner. The store is divided into two levels: the ground floor sells souvenirs and children's clothing, while the first floor sells clothes such as training jerseys, jackets, coats, and replica team jerseys.

There are also two smaller stores, one at the Stamford Gate entrance and the other behind the Matthew Harding stand inside the new museum building.

Stamford Bridge Future Plans

The reconstruction of Stamford Bridge to a capacity of 55,000 to 60,000 seats has been approved by Chelsea owner

Roman Abramovich


\The redevelopment's logistics are complicated by its location in a densely populated area of Inner London, sandwiched between a busy road and two railway lines.

Furthermore, dispersing 60,000 spectators into the residential streets around Stamford Bridge is likely to cause traffic congestion.

On June 17, 2014, the club announced that architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands had been commissioned to conduct a study of the area from Fulham Broadway to Stamford Bridge and beyond.

Chelsea revealed their desire to build a 60,000-seater stadium at Stamford Bridge in December of the following year.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, gave full clearance for the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge on March 6, 2017, saying that the "high quality and spectacular design" would contribute to the capital's "fantastic array of sporting arenas."

The club would have to find another location to play home games during the renovation, which is projected to take 3–4 years. 

Twickenham Stadium has been suggested as a possible location. Chelsea reportedly agreed to a £20 million deal with the FA to use Wembley Stadium for three seasons commencing in 2017–18, according to sources in February 2016, one of the Top facts about Stamford Bridge.

Despite Chelsea's desire for exclusive rights to Wembley, the FA suggested that they share the stadium with London rivals

Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

for the 2017–18 season only, as Spurs were undergoing their own stadium reconstruction at the time. When it came to utilizing the national stadium, the FA sought to avoid showing any favoritism.

On 31 May 2018, the club announced the suspension of the rebuild stating, "Chelsea Football Club announces today that it has put its new stadium project on hold.

No further pre-construction design and planning work will occur. The club does not have a time frame set for reconsideration of its decision. The decision was made due to the current unfavorable investment climate."

Stamford Bridge Legal Issues

The Crosthwaites family, whose home is directly across from the East Stand, filed a legal case in the form of an injunction in May 2017 to stop Chelsea from expanding Stamford Bridge.

The family claimed that more construction at the stadium will block their natural light. Chelsea sought to entice them to waive their legal right to light in their house in exchange for £50,000 in legal advice and additional compensation estimated to be in the six-figure range.

In order to continue with the Stamford Bridge Redevelopment Project, the club sought assistance from the local authorities, Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

The council agreed with the club in January 2018, announcing plans to utilize its planning law powers to purchase air rights over a portion of Stamford Bridge and the railway line that runs between the stadium and the affected residences.

The Crosthwaites would be entitled to compensation but would not be able to stop the redevelopment because the land would be leased back to Chelsea and railway operator Network Rail.

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source: SportMob

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