A flurry of summer signings will see the West London outfit become a competitive force when its opening fixture takes place this weekend. However, a new matchday experience at the stadium’s signature bar and restaurant, Under The Bridge, means the club will be fighting on all fronts when it comes to its events and hospitality offering, which entertained more than 50,000 delegates last season.
For the first time ever, Under The Bridge will roll out its matchday hospitality offering across all of Chelsea’s 26 Premier League home matches, which includes lunch and an open bar before the match.
Elsewhere, the Stadium’s Great Hall offers one of Premier League’s largest events spaces, capable of hosting 650 for a dinner, 850 in a theatre setting, and up to 1,000 for a reception. The Centenary Hall, which links seamlessly with the Great Hall, is ideal for breakout space or one-to-one meetings. Just ask Teradata, who used both spaces for its Connect conference in June 2014.
Premier League quality: Despite Stamford Bridge offering its hospitality services to a total of 104,750 guests in the 2013/14 season, none of its waste made it to landfill.
Manchester City, Etihad Stadium
With the Manchester club striking gold in the form of a Middle Eastern takeover in 2008, the investment has stretched further than the pitch and can be seen among the Etihad Stadium’s smart and varied events offering.
The Commonwealth Suite is the stadium’s largest events space, with facilities including meeting space for 300 and an evening reception for 400. Adjacent to this is the 1894 Club, named after Manchester City’s founding year. A conference for 150, a lunch or dinner for 190 or a reception for 250 can be held in the second-floor suite and with access to the East Stand Platinum Boxes, a unique incentive could make a tantalising add-on.
Premier League quality: Manchester City's 66 Platinum Boxes come equipped with their very own EA Sports Box.
Sunderland AFC, Stadium of Light
Admittedly not a top-four favourite on the pitch but the Stadium of Light’s diverse North East events offering means the venue makes it into the top four of C&IT’s table, with no fewer than nine spaces for conferences and events.
The Montgomery Suite, the Stadium of Light’s largest space, can host conferences for up to 600 delegates, with added facilities for exhibitions, trade shows and awards ceremonies.
For slightly smaller occasions, including dinners and pre-event drink receptions, the Executive Lounge can seat up to 100 guests. However, thanks to a specially designed moving wall, receptions for a further 300 guests can be held, with panoramic views across the River Wear.
It’s the venue’s variety that impresses C&IT, with spaces such as the Heineken Lounge and Drumaville Suite ideal for intimate meetings in a unique setting.
Premier League quality: The Stadium of Light’s entire first floor event space can link together, increasing capacity to more than 2,000 people for receptions and large-scale special events.
Arsenal, Emirates Stadium
A reputation as ‘the nearly men’ on the pitch certainly doesn’t resonate with the Emirates Stadium’s extensive events facilities off it.
The venue’s largest spaces include the Royal Oak, Woolwich, Dial Square and Highbury suites, which combined can host receptions for up to 2,000. Individually, the Royal Oak suite is ideal for conferences for 500 delegates, with breakout areas and state-of-the-art AV equipment available.
The venue’s most adaptable space is the Woolwich suite, which can cater for a range of events including large-scale conferences, gala dinners and evening receptions for a further 500 guests. The Highbury suite, meanwhile, can host up to 1,000 guests for a cocktail reception.
Four corner suites and 146 executive boxes, each hosting up to 15 delegates, makes up the rest of the Emirates Stadium’s arsenal of events space.
Premier League quality: Emirates Stadium recycles 100% of all glass, cardboard and plastics used at events, with an average of 10 tonnes recycled each month.