With both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur storming ahead with the redevelopment of their historic stadiums in London, a battle for a temporary home is playing out.
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According to the Times, Chelsea has offered $16 million a year to those who control Wembley Stadium to allow the Blues to relocate to north London and play at England’s national stadium.
Chelsea last week unveiled plans to redevelop Stamford Bridge, but the huge overhaul would have to see them play elsewhere for three seasons from the 2017-18 campaign onwards.
As for Spurs, they have to find a new home for up to two seasons from 2017-18 while White Hart Lane is renovated, but they are said to have only offered $12 million per year to play at Wembley.
All of this so far is speculation, but the Times claims that Chelsea have made a presentation to the board of directors of Wembley Stadium. Due to restrictions on how many sporting events can take place each year at Wembley, it is believed the 90,000 capacity venue will have to be reduced to 50,000 each game if Chelsea or Spurs succeed in moving their temporarily.
It is no secret that both teams needed a temporary solution while they upgrade their home stadiums, with Stadium MK also mooted as a potential new home for Spurs during their forced relocation from their current 35,000 capacity home. When the work is finished on land adjacent to their current White Hart Lane home, Tottenham’s new stadium will have a capacity of over 56,000 (although they are expected to try and increase that to 61,000) but until then, it seems like Chairman Daniel Levy will have quite the headache trying to sort out a temporary solution. Both the Olympic Stadium, which they fought tooth and nail with West Ham to try and move into permanently, and the soon to be vacated Upton Park home of West Ham have been ruled out as options.
As for Chelsea, Wembley seems like the only option. Neighbors Fulham have a tiny home at Craven Cottage which although it is just over a mile from Stamford Bridge, it holds under 30,000. Chelsea’s current Capacity at Stamford Bridge is just under 42,000 but the plans being submitted to Hammersmith and Fulham council would see their home increased to a 60,000 seater venue. The only other option for Chelsea is moving to Twickenham Stadium, the home of England’s rugby team, but significant roadblocks have already been put in the way of that potential solution.
Get ready for a battle between two London clubs for a temporary home in one of the most congested cities on the planet.