Chelsea submit plans to rebuild Stamford Bridge
Chelsea have submitted a planning application to rebuild Stamford Bridge into a 60,000-seat stadium.
The Barclays Premier League champions have consulted over the redevelopment of their west London home, which currently has a capacity of 41,600.
And a statement on the club's official website on Tuesday confirmed plans would be submitted to Hammersmith and Fulham council.
"A planning application for a new stadium at Stamford Bridge with an expanded seating capacity has been submitted," the statement read.
"This follows a successful consultation process during which we received very helpful feedback."
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who bought the club in 2003, would finance the work, which has an estimated cost of £500million.
The planning application was submitted by Abramovich's Fordstam company on November 19, Hammersmith and Fulham council said.
It is confirmation of Abramovich's commitment to the club, despite a woeful start to the season which sees Chelsea 14th after 14 games.
There is plenty to do before a new stadium becomes a reality, not least finding a temporary home for around three seasons.
The build would be complicated and more lengthy in duration if Chelsea were to remain on site, adding to the cost.
Both Chelsea and Tottenham, who are building a new stadium at White Hart Lane, have reportedly been in discussions with the Football Association to play games at Wembley.
The Blues have also considered Twickenham, home of the Rugby Football Union, as a temporary home.
Chelsea had previously looked at sites including Battersea Power Station, but concluded their ideal arena could be created on the present site.
The Blues believe the history of Stamford Bridge is with the site, rather than the stadium itself.
The build would be complex and involve excavation, with the plan to lower the arena into the ground to achieve the capacity on a 12-acre site.
The site is bordered by two train lines which must be built over.
Although match day revenues are less important to Premier League clubs, due to the astronomical sums broadcasters are prepared to pay, Chelsea are keen to expand the stadium to improve the atmosphere and supporter experience, while also having an arena which befits the club's status as one of the best in the world.
Chelsea warned supporters to be patient, with the planning process expected to last beyond this season. Comments on the planning application close on January 8.
Chelsea's statement added: "This application will now be examined by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Full details can be found on their website at www.lbhf.gov.uk/stamfordbridgegrounds.
The main details of the application detailed on the website are:
Stadium seating capacity to expand from 41,600 to 60,000 spectators;
An outstanding view of the stadium from every seat;
An arena designed to create an exciting atmosphere;
Direct access to and from Fulham Broadway Station, making travel more efficient;
Stadium facilities improved for every area.