Chelsea v West Ham games might get a little easier to travel to for West Ham United fans in the next couple seasons. West London’s Chelsea may need to ground share with West Ham in the near future, with an expensive development to their current home, Stamford Bridge.
The current capacity of Stamford Bridge is just over 41,000, and the redevelopment looks to bring the new capacity to over 60,000 seats, with a doubling of corporate seating to 9,200. The preferred option for Chelsea is to use Wembley Stadium while Stamford Bridge is being redeveloped, but with with Tottenham Hotspur also in the process of rebuilding White Hart Lane and already in agreement to use Wembley, that deal may fall through. The Times reports that Chelsea have looked at different alternatives, but that many of the other stadiums no not have enough capacity.
Crystal Palace has hosted other teams in the past while grounds have been redeveloped or new homes have been sought, in the case of Charlton Athletic and Wimbledon, Chelsea have ruled out using Selhurst Park because the capacity is only around 26,000. QPR shared with Fulham in the past, but Loftus Road holds less than 20,000 and Fulham’s Craven Cottage holds around 25,000.
Twickenham, the Rugby Union stadium in West London, has ruled out a groundshare by Chelsea. Local residents are opposed to having Chelsea use the stadium and the RFU is also opposed to hosting Chelsea at the site.
The London Stadium is cleared for a football attendance of over 55,000, and so while the situation would not be ideal for fans of either club, it would certainly allow Chelsea to keep their season ticket holders and fans happy for three years while Stamford Bridge is redeveloped. While it would be odd to see Chelsea play “home” games anywhere other than Stamford Bridge, it might be beneficial for the club to receive some compensation while Chelsea play their. Of course, if the benefit is only going to the City of London, it might not be such a good deal for West Ham. Either way, if Chelsea do play at the London Stadium for a few years, at least one game a season won’t really be a “road” game.