Chelsea’s home stadium is called Stamford Bridge and has a history as varied and unique as the team itself.
Stamford Bridge officially opened on 28 April 1877. For the first 28 years of its existence it was used almost exclusively by the London Athletic Club as an arena for athletics meetings and not for football at all.
In 1904 the ownership of the ground changed hands when Mr H A (Gus) Mears and his brother, Mr J T Mears, obtained the deeds, having previously acquired additional land (formerly a large market garden) with the aim of establishing a football team there on the now 12.5 acre site.
Stamford Bridge was designed by Archibald Leitch and initially included a 120 yard long stand on the East side which could hold 5000 spectators.
The other sides were all open in a vast bowl with thousands of tons of material excavated from the building of the underground railway provided high terracing on the West side.
The capacity was originally planned to be 100,000 and was the second largest in country behind Crystal Palace – the FA Cup final venue.
Initially the stadium was offered to Fulham FC to play there, they turned down the chance and so instead a new side, Chelsea Football Club, was born in 1905 and moved into the new Stamford Bridge stadium.
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