Stamford Bridge opened in 1877 as a home for the London Athletics Club and was used almost exclusively for that purpose until 1904, when it started hosting football. It was offered to Fulham FC, but ultimately the leaseholders formed their own side, Chelsea. The stadium which resulted contained a football ground with a running track round the outside, meaning spectators were some way from the action. Stamford Bridge had an official capacity of around 100,000, making it the second largest ground in England after Crystal Palace, the FA Cup final venue. Stamford Bridge itself hosted the final for the first three years after the World War I from 1920 to 1922, after which it was replaced by Wembley.
A new roofed terrace built in the 1930s became known as the notorious Shed, which was eventually demolished in 1994 as part of a substantial rebuild of the entire venue, replacing the pre-war stands as well as additions from the 1960s and 1970s.
The ground was used in 1980 for the first major day-night match between Essex and West Indies (although organised by Surrey) which was a commercial success; the following year it hosted the final of the inaugural Lambert & Butler county competition. It, however, failed and the experiment of playing cricket on football grounds was ended.
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