1960`s and 70`s DEVELOPMENT
In 1964/65, during one of Chelsea's best periods on the pitch, saw the vast western terrace replaced by a seated stand. The stand was 3/4 seating and 1/4 concrete slabs affectionately known as the 'Benches'. The West stand existed for 25 years until it was the last of the old stadium to be demolished in 1998 and despite by that stage being a rickety, crumbling stand it too was a sad day for many when the old West Stand with it's wooden seats went, and like the Shed, is a source of nostalgia.
Yet its replacement is quite simply one of the finest stadium stands in the country costing an estimated £30 million to build, and housing 13,500 people in luxury surroundings with superb views.
In 1973 the East Stand was built, a marvel of engineering of the time and still one of the most striking stands in the country there's little doubt it was ahead of its time. The only part of the current stadium that survived the mass rebuilding of the 1990's it has though undergone extensive refurbishment and refitting.
The East Stand, for all its magnificence also has a controversial past. When Chelsea were at their peak in the late 60's and early 70's the then owners decided the all star team on the pitch deserved to be playing in the best stadium in the country. Their plan was hugely ambitious to completely redevelop Stamford Bridge into a 50,000 all seater circular stadium. It proved too ambitious and many feel brought the club to it's knees, forced the selling of the star players, relegation and nearly forced the club into complete ruin by the start of the 1980's.
It took another 20 years to rebuild not only the stadium and team but the entire club, yet for all that the East Stand itself remains as impressive today as it always did.