Chelsea may vacate Stamford Bridge for two seasons

London, June 16 (IANS) Chelsea football club, which plans to redevelop its Stamford Bridge stadium into a 60,000-seat stadium, could see it play its home matches elsewhere for at least two seasons should the go-ahead be given for work to begin on its home of 110 years.

The English Premier League champions are set to reveal proposals to residents and fans at an exhibition at the stadium running from 30 June to 2 July.

The consultation meeting will include an explanation of “the rationale for expansion”, with Chelsea, who are restricted by a site comprising around 12 acres when around 20 acres would normally be required for a stadium of the proposed size, likely to build over the adjacent railway tracks. They are also considering digging below street level, reports The Guardian on Tuesday.

The cost of the project, which would increase the capacity from 41,798 and effectively allow the club to house a new generation of younger fans, could stretch to 500 million pound, which the owner, Roman Abramovich, would have to meet.

Chelsea could rebuild the arena piece by piece, a project which could drag on for three or four seasons while the team continue to play at there, but are more likely to seek to undertake the extensive redevelopment all at once with the team temporarily moving out.

“The study also began to assess the feasibility of an expansion of the stadium capacity within the existing historical site boundary, based on the principles of improving site access, benefiting the neighbourhood and enhancing the spectator experience,” the club said in a statement.

“Abramovich has appointed a professional team to assess, in more detail, the feasibility of expanding the existing stadium capacity at Stamford Bridge grounds,” the statement said.

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