I visited Stamford Bridge on a match day which probably helped, but like Old Trafford there’s an almost theme park feel to Chelsea’s home.
A massive team mural that even grown ups were posing in front of was one of the first things to hit me as I stepped off the King’s Road and into what is more of a complex than a stadium.
There’s only really a couple of sides of The Bridge that resemble a football ground. The rest is made up of hotels, restaurants and even a music venue “Under The Bridge” which still had room for people to come and see Lulu that week. Schalke at home was already sold out.
There was the bonus of a sneaky glimpse of Stamford’s innards, so to speak. Regular readers of the blog will know that’s an added bonus and it’s hard to knock Chelsea for anything.
Sure, it barely looks like a football ground from the outside, but they don’t pretend otherwise. This is an attempt to fit in with its salubrious Central London surroundings and it just about manages it. Even if they do have the ridiculous and un-football sounding “Tea Bar” too.
It’d be nice for it to resemble a football ground and you can’t deny that on a non-match day it’s probably a bit of a boring visit (unless the interior is generally visible through the week) but you take each visit as it comes in this game, and I enjoyed it.