May 5 – Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge stadium reconstruction already looks to be delayed with the club now not expecting to move out of the current stadium until the 2019-20 season – a year later than originally planned.
The delay is due to the complexity of the project that involves building decking over railway lines at the back of the site.
Building work on the stadium itself was expected to start in the 2018-19 season and the club has been looking for a temporary home to cover for the three years it will take to build the new ground. With North London neighbours Tottenham Hotspur now saying they will be moving into their new White Hart Lane stadium in 2018-19, the path looked clear for Chelsea to take over their tenancy Wembley.
Chelsea may still do that, but they are unlikely to need it until 2019, with the £500 million rebuild of Stamford Bridge into a 60,000 capacity stadium being completed three years later.
Chelsea say they are still looking at stadium options within the M25 – the motorway that rings London. One of those options is the London Stadium where West Ham have taken up tenancy this season.
Chelsea’s planning permission allows them have January 2020 to start work. Design for the stadium was drawn up by architects Herzog & De Meuron. That design is now in project planning, though initial work on clearing outbuildings, two hotels and a gymnasium is expected to begin in 2018.
Bringing the project in at the budget figure of £500 million could prove to be ambitious if the complications continue to mount. Local transport infrastructure and minimising the impact on local residents during the three-year construction period are also challenges to be overcome.
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