Chelsea has seemingly always been struggling with rivals like Man United and Arsenal. The fact that their home stadium was much smaller than those of the other two clubs has, at least in the eyes of some, made it hard for Chelsea to compete.
All that may be behind them now, as plans are underway to construct a huge 60,000 seat stadium at Stamford Bridge. The cost has been estimated at between £500 million and £600 million, and will take between 4 and 5 years. Russian financier Roman Abramovich is footing the bill, so perhaps this construction project will go on without all the drama Chelsea experienced in their expansion in the 1970s.
Who got the job, though?
Abramovich himself chose the designers, Herzog and de Meuron, based on the success of other venues they have produced, including the Allianz Arena in Munich, the Bird’s Nest in China and a similar project he delivered for Bordeaux. The actual construction will be undertaken by Keltbray. One advantage there is that they are already busy at work taking down the Exhibition Centre at Earl’s Court, and they won’t have to move their operations very far. It’s got to cost a fair few bob to drag those great cranes all the way across London, right?
Can I get in on it?
Actually, many of you probably can. Keltbray has announced that they will be introducing apprenticeships as part of the project, which are intended to help train the next generation of skilled construction workers that the country will need if it is to sustain the current resurgence of its construction economy.
Starting October 2016 the surrounding hotels, bars and restaurants will be demolished followed by the stadium itself on June 2017. This is good news for those with UKATA Asbestos Awareness or NTDG Asbestos and Demolition Safety Awareness training, as there will be a huge demand for qualified demolition workers.
So, whether you’ll call it the Slinky, the Colander or the Egg Slicer, the real question is whether you’ll be buying tickets. They’ll have 20,000 more seats soon, and will be eager to fill them.