Before I visited Danielle Hope’s amazing show at the Zedel near Piccadilly Circus, I decided to go for another Stadium Tour. This time, I travelled to Fulham to Stamford Bridge Stadium, home of Chelsea FC. Here is a review.
Stamford Bridge Stadium – Location & Access
Chelsea FC’s home is located in Fulham, London, at Fulham Road. The stadium is very easy to reach by Underground, Fulham Broadway station. There is even a designated bus stop right in front of the Stadium. As the complex also includes two hotels and some restaurants, the stadium area is accessible all day. There are security controls, though. Right next to the stadium tour and museum building is the Chelsea FC fitness club.
The Stadium Tours typically start at 10:00. The gates to the museum and tour on the Northern side of the stadium (you need to walk around the stadium to reach the location) open some twenty minutes earlier. You may visit the museum before the tour or thereafter (or do it in two parts). I did the ordinary stadium tour and museum visit, which is 24 GBP. For additional 14.50 GBP, you also can upgrade to a lunch in one of the restaurants nearby. In rare occasions, Chelsea players and legends do the tour as well. In that case, the admission is significantly higher. You can add one souvenir picture for 6 GBP – if you purchase it after the tour, the price will be 10 GBP.
Chelsea FC Tour and Museum
For the stadium tour, you need to reserve a time slot. You can, however, do the tour and the museum in any order, also interrupting your museum visit for the tour. Thus, I would personally recommend to have a relaxed time slot and potentially do the tour at the end of the museum. The tour is about an hour, you will roughly take the same time for the museum (rather less than more).
Stamford Bridge Stadium Tour
I just had a quick look into the museum before the tour actually started. You enter the stadium through the Northern Matthew Harding Stand. The first stop is right at the stand, where you get some general facts about the building. The tour guide only speaks English – you are however given a tablet-alike “multimedia guide”, which contains text in several languages. The interesting feature about this guide is that it features augmented reality: contents is activated when you point to the right direction, e.g. the stadium ground. A video is shown in which you may change the perspective by moving the tablet. The feature is however not activated by the GPS position or by transmitters in the stadium, but manually by one of the three guides accompanying the tour. After the tour, the guide told me that he missed two of these tour spots – furthermore, I still got stadium information when we already headed to the press room.
The press room is the next stop, where you can also have a photo opportunity in front of a green screen. “Opportunity” of course means that it leads to an additional charge. The most interesting parts, likely, are both locker rooms. The away team locker room features jerseys of numerous soccer legends. The difference between the two rooms in size and equipment is more than significant, I would even call it “unsportsmanlike”. The final part of the tour takes you through the players tunnel to the substitution benches, all located on the East Stand.
You miss lounges, offices, posh stuff? Stamford Bridge has it, but they are majorly on the Western side and not part of the tour. Thus, I felt that this tour, compared to the ones at Manchester United or the Glasgow Rangers, is a huge disappointment. You finally end up (not that suprising) in the club’s Megastore, where you do not just receive any purchased or to-be-paid pictures, but can also stuff yourself with memorabilia.
Chelsea FC Museum
The Museum is located on the 2nd floor of the tour reception building. It gives quite some information, about players, the development of the stadium and significant events. The augmented reality devices are no longer supported. It would be so interesting to look around the old stadium, for example. Compared to Manchester, the museum is extremely compact – and there are significantly less trophies just due to less big victories. Nevertheless, the museum is not too bad.
Chelsea FC Tour & Museum – My View
Not as posh as the tour I did at Manchester United, not as classic and characteristic as my visit to the Glasgow Rangers. I felt that the Chelsea FC tour has a lot of potential, especially due to the Augmented Reality elements – but it does not make use of it. The pricing is comparably high as well. I don’t understand why the VIP areas are not shown – to me, this was an essential part of all stadium tours I did (also in pre-flyctory.com ages). Thus, I feel that visiting Stamford Bridge just gives you an just-above average experience at over-average pricing. My Sunday morning at Fulham was enjoyable – but there would have been much better ways to spent it.
Here are some more soccer-related postings on flyctory.com:
Here are more postings which are related to the United Kingdom: