Friday, May 4, 2012

I hate it when you're right, Chelsea.

There's been a lot of Chelsea coverage on these pages lately, and for that, I apologize. It's mostly Will's fault,  but hey, nobody's perfect.
Courtesy of The Guardian

Yet the club's bid to put a stadium in the iconic Battersea Power Station just might be. All joking aside, Chelsea's current stadium predicament is only part of a larger trend of ambitious clubs finding themselves "too big" for their current and often historic stomping grounds.

Of course, this realization is often met with a good deal of hand-wringing on the part of nostalgic supporters hell-bent on preserving the tradition of their club. Unfortunately for the guys calling the shots, the bottom line is more important.

Now I love the fact that many of the games' great cathedrals are as much integral parts of their cities as, well, cathedrals. I'm a pretty nostalgic guy myself and if I had it my way, Liverpool would just expand Anfield and call it quitsies on the various other new stadium ideas floating around.

Unfortunately, the lot-owners of the houses that surround the stadium know perfectly well just how valuable their property is and you can only make so much money with a 44k-seater. In short, reality says expanding a century-old stadium in any major city that's grown around it is nearly impossible.

Chelsea's plan includes preserving the station's four chimneys as well as its wash tower, and I think it's brilliant. Take another antiquated city site a few miles away, clean it up, maintain the shell and have at it.

It's not a perfect plan and it might not even happen, but it tips its hat to tradition and location. Something other clubs would be well-served in replicating.

- Jacob Klinger

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