We cannot wait to have Chelsea supporters back at Stamford Bridge, and those who are returning this weekend will find we have a made a couple of improvements to the stadium that will significantly enhance your matchday experience.
Christian Pulisic’s individual magic against Man City, Mason Mount’s free-kick on the final day of last season, Thiago Silva’s header in our most recent home game: all of these goals should have brought unadulterated joy to 40,000 people inside the Bridge. Sadly, the global pandemic has prevented any Blues fans heading to SW6 in recent months, until now.While we have been waiting for this day, we have been improving Stamford Bridge. Getting into the stadium will now be a smoother and quicker process because of upgraded turnstile readers, which also have the capability to read print@home tickets.Once you are inside the ground, bigger, brighter, better big screens await. The higher resolution and refresh rate of the new widescreens at either end of the ground will mean when you look up to see replays of goals, it will be a similar viewing experience to watching the game on television at home.A time-lapse video of their installation can be watched below.
Advancements in technology mean the screens, supplied by infiLED EM – part of the Bendac Group, will be far more impactful for fans, as they are now 25 per cent bigger in size and widescreen, providing a greater viewing experience for all around the ground. The screens have a much higher resolution through the use of SMD (surface mounted diode) LED technology, resulting in over one million pixels across the two displays, five times more than the previous displays.These are the fourth generation of big screens at Stamford Bridge. The first arrived in the mid-90s at the behest of chairman Ken Bates, following a visit to an American football stadium. They were two much smaller Daktronics square screens hanging from the inside of the North and South Stands, and their low resolution meant they were largely just used as a scoreboard and for basic advertisements.
They were replaced at the start of this century by 58 square metre Phillips LED screens in 4x3 format. As one of the first LED screens put up in a stadium in this country, they were a vast improvement, and durable too, lasting over seven years.
The two screens just removed were first installed in the 2007/08 season. They were actually slightly different from each other, but showed further advancements in resolution and substance, and had been in place for well over a decade before the recent switch.
Prior to the big screens, Chelsea had electronic scoreboards situated at the back of the old North Stand terrace in the 1980s, very basic in the information they gave and although they occasionally encouraged support for the team, they are probably best remembered for the peculiar races they staged at half-time, with fans able to cheer (or even bet) on the outline of a ship against the outline of a train and other vehicles as they travelled from one side of the board to the other!
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