Stadium Name: Stamford Bridge
Year Opened: 1877
Capacity: 40,341
Chelsea FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League
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History of the stadium

Welcome to the home stadium of Chelsea Football Club, Stamford Bridge. The ground is one of the oldest in England and has been a part of the club’s story since their formation in 1905.

The doors to Stamford Bridge first swung open on April 28, 1877 as the home of the London Athletic Club. It would predominantly host athletic events for the following 27 years. But the deeds fell into the hands of Henry Augustus ‘Gus’ Mears and his brother, Joseph Theophilus.

Football’s rise in the 19th century convinced the Mears brothers to secure a site where they could host games. They eventually chose Stamford Bridge and obtained the deeds in 1904. The duo then hired renowned architect Archibald Leitch to design a new stadium on the site.

Chelsea emerged from Fulham rejecting Stamford Bridge

A general view of a match in progress at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium circa 1919
Photo by Alfred Hind Robinson/A H Robinson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Stamford Bridge soon featured one of Leitch’s trademark elements with a 120-yard stand on the east side with a pedimented centre gable. While thousands of tons of material excavated from the construction of the underground Piccadilly Line supported the open bowel stands.

The Mears brothers would offer Fulham the chance to lease their new stadium. But the club rejected the proposal to remain at Craven Cottage. So, the pair set about forming their own team and would found Chelsea in April 1905 with Tom Lewin Kinton and John Henry Maltby.

Stamford Bridge would remain largely unchanged until the 1930s when the ‘Shed End’ was introduced. The Greyhound Racing Association sought to install a partial roof over the south end to provide cover. It held dog races on the track that surrounded the pitch at the ground.

Its oddly-shaped structure would later see the stand christened with its nickname some 30 years later. While Chelsea adopted it as the stand’s permanent name when the club rebuilt the Fulham Road end in 1997. Leitch also helped to design a covered north section in 1939.

Chelsea opened the covered segment adjacent to the east stand in 1945 and it remained in place for 30 years. While the open-again north end also remained unchanged until 1993 as Stamford Bridge became an all-seater venue. Work on the first western end began in 1965.

Ken Bates saved Stamford Bridge and rebuilt Chelsea’s home

Stamford Bridge circa 1992
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Financial problems brought the Blues to their knees in the 1980s and saw the Mears’ legacy end as Ken Bates became Chelsea’s owner. But a 10-year fight ensued over Stamford Bridge having been sold off separately to property developers, who later became bankrupt in 1992.

Chelsea would get their stadium back in 1993 and started rebuilding a dilapidated Stamford Bridge. The Blues started building a two-tier north stand that became the Matthew Harding Stand in honour of their former vice-chairman following its completion in November 1994.

The Shed End was next on the to-do list before problems with planning permission put work on the west stand on ice. Chelsea built the lower tier on time but spent two years disputing the upper section. Work on the 13,500-seater stand would eventually conclude during 2001.

How to get to Stamford Bridge

Fans can get to Stamford Bridge in several ways given the location of Chelsea’s stadium in west London. Fulham Broadway on the District Line is the nearest tube station. While the overground stations West Brompton and Imperial Wharf are around a 15-minute walk away.

Stamford Bridge being on the Fulham Road also makes getting to the stadium by foot easily achievable from all directions. While the number 14, 211 and 414 buses stop outside of the ground with two stops nearby on the Fulham Road. Chelsea also offer on-site cycle storage.

Chelsea advise fans to avoid using any personal vehicles to get to Stamford Bridge owing to the residential parking-only areas around their stadium. So, visitors should park elsewhere.

Stadium tour info

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Chelsea run tours of Stamford Bridge that give a behind-the-scenes look at the stadium. The Blues also offer a number of tour types that start from the Matthew Harding Stand. Standard tours run every 20 minutes from 10:00 to 15:00, while legend tours run just once per month.

A standard stadium tour at Stamford Bridge features a 60-minute guided tour of Chelsea’s stadium. It also includes access to the home dressing room, the players’ tunnel, a chance to get pitchside, see the stadium from the Shed Upper stand and to see inside the press room.

Prices: Standard tour
Adult: £28
Concession: £20
Child: £18
Family of four: £80
Under 5s/Carer: Free

While their classic tour at Stamford Bridge lasts for 90 minutes and offers a 30-minute video detailing Chelsea’s history. The 60-minute guided tour element includes access to the home and away dressing rooms, the players’ tunnel, a chance to get pitchside and the press room.

Prices: Classic tour
Adult: £40
Concession: £28
Child: £27
Under 5s/Carer: Free

Chelsea’s legends tour of Stamford Bridge lasts for 90 minutes and has access to the home and away dressing rooms, the players’ tunnel, pitchside and the press room. Fans also get a photo with Chelsea’s trophy cabinet and the Chelsea legend taking the tour, plus signatures.

Prices: Legends tour
Adult: £90
Concession: £90
Child: £90

Additionally, Chelsea run 60-minute tours of Stamford Bridge on certain matchdays offering a chance to see the stadium being prepared. The tour also has access to the home dressing room, the players’ tunnel, the press room, pitchside and views from the Upper Shed stand.


Stamford Bridge: Fulham Road, London, SW6 1HS