Chelsea Football Club has made a number of changes at its Stamford Bridge ground ahead of the new season.
Stamford Bridge is now a cashless stadium, with contactless payments available in all areas, including at food and beverage outlets and for matchday programmes, museum entrance and stadium tours. The changeover has been made in conjunction with FiServ.
And rail seating has been installed in the Matthew Harding Lower and Shed End Upper and Lower tiers.
This improvement enhances supporter safety by replacing the current seats in those sections of the stadium. The club said it has decided to act now in order to be ready and prepared for any future government decision to introduce safe standing in Premier League stadia.
The biggest development to Stamford Bridge since 2001, Westview, is the newly renovated West Stand Upper, which following consultations with supporters has been significantly upgraded ahead of the new season.
There has been a complete refurbishment of the concourse in the upper tier, with two new 360 degree bars and a new food court offering improved range and quality of food and drink, as well as views across London.
In the stand, the matchday experience will be enhanced by three new big screens which ensure all seat locations can view the screen content for the first time, and all seats have been replaced with brand-new padded seating. A wheelchair accessible platform with four wheelchair and personal assistant places has also been installed.
Over the summer, Chelsea Football Club has recognised the important contribution made by Paul Canoville in its history by renaming the Centenary Hall, located in the Shed End, in his honour.
The entrance stairwell and area in the Suite will tell Paul’s history with words and images, and Chelsea’s wider diversity story will be in the rest of the Suite, with a celebration of other ground-breaking players for whom Paul paved the way at the club after becoming the first black player to be selected for the Chelsea men’s first team.
With the exception of the few thousand who were able to attend games in December and at the end of last season, the start of 2021/22 will be the first chance to view the two brighter and better big screens that were installed inside Stamford Bridge during the previous season. They have higher resolution and refresh rate than their predecessors, and are 25 per cent larger and widescreen, providing a greater viewing experience for all around the ground.
In addition, a further series of new screens have been installed in the West Stand to give viewing access to screens for all within that part of the ground.
There has also been a change at pitch level during the close season, with the first complete pitch replacement for seven years having taken place. The pitch has switched from a Desso system to a SIS one.
PSAM editor John Sheehan caught up with Yves De Cocker, Managing Director of PitchTecConcept, who explains how his company bridges the gap between sports organisations and the technology used in the playing surface industry.
The interview covers:
Yves 20+ years industry leading experience in the evolution of hybrid grass, trends he has noticed and some of the notable projects he has been involved with
The key reasons for Yves launching PitchTecConcept
Common mistakes often made with playing surface management
The steps he offers as a bridge between the industry and the end user
Advice to clubs looking to maximise their event calendars without compromising on the performance of their playing surface