Chelsea Wins Approval to Build 60,000-Seat London Soccer Ground

  • New facility will increase capacity at games by about a third
  • Club will have to find an alternative venue for three years

Chelsea Football Club, the Premier League soccer team owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, was granted approval to demolish its stadium at Stamford Bridge in London to build a larger one.

Hammersmith & Fulham borough council approved plans to build the 60,000-seat stadium, about a third more capacity than it currently has, late yesterday. The club has agreed to contribute 3.75 million pounds ($4.33 million) toward affordable housing in the area as part of the deal.

Inside the stadium at Stamford Bridge.

Photographer: Ian Walton/Getty Images

Chelsea, founded in 1905, has been looking to play in a larger arena for several years. After failing to find an alternative site, including Battersea Power Station, it announced it would apply to redevelop its current home. The team will play its home games at temporary venues for three years while building work takes place and the club hopes to play its first game in the revamped venue in 2021.

“This is just the latest step, although a significant one, that we have to take before we can commence work,” Chelsea said in a statement on its website.

The decision to approve the new ground can be appealed and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan will also have to agree to the plan. Cost estimates for the redevelopment of the plot start from 500 million pounds, the Telegraph reported earlier.

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