Everton gave fans a look into the future as the club revealed plans for their £500million waterfront stadium.
The Toffees want to take advantage of the unused Bramley-Moore Dock site – which is part of the wider Liverpool Waters development – and are hopeful they can move into their striking new ground in time for the 2023-24 campaign.
One of the most eye-catching features of the proposed new ground is the 13,000-seat South Stand which resembles the designs used by Borussia Dortmund, and more recently Tottenham at their new stadium.
Architects behind the designs feel the brick and steel construction will make it look ‘as though it has risen from the dock’ in tribute to Liverpool’s maritime past.
Rail-seating is set to play a role in the new design in case regulation is altered in the future with regards to safe standing.
The club are suspected to submit a detailed planning application by the end of 2019 and then a three-year building project would commence from 2020. Close to 800 Everton supporters were shown the latest designs at a fans event on Thursday night.
THE PEOPLE’S PROJECT STATEMENT
We want to build a stadium that is right for Everton Football Club, right for Bramley-Moore Dock and right for Liverpool City Region. A world-class stadium in an iconic waterfront location.
Our supporters want us to build a stadium that is a great place to play and watch football while providing improved modern facilities to meet and surpass their expectations.
Bramley-Moore Dock is located within a World Heritage Site. The Club and its design team are therefore actively working with Liverpool City Council, Historic England, UNESCO and other relevant parties to ensure the proposed stadium scheme protects the historic assets of the site.
The Liverpool docks enabled the city to grow into a globally significant and influential commercial centre during the 19th century.
Bramley-Moore Dock was used for the export and import of coal to feed the fleets of steamers that once criss-crossed the globe.
The dock fell out of use as it could not be adapted to the containerisation of sea trade during the second half of the 20th century. Now, an exciting new chapter is about to be written at Bramley-Moore.
New life will be breathed into it as it is brought back into meaningful use and opened up to the people of the city. It will become a home to thunderous sound, vibrant colour and marvellous spectacle.
We are proposing a stadium capacity of 52,000 with the potential for that to rise to 62,000 in the future, subject to further planning permission.
The projected capacity takes into account several factors which include design and orientation of the stadium on a dock site, current and future ticket demand and forecast revenues and costs.
While the initial capacity is set to be 52,000, it is believed the club could add a further 10,000 on top if attendances regularly reached a sell-out. Should planning permission be given and the club press on with the project, Everton’s current home at Goodison Park would not find itself picking up dust for too long.
The club plan to redevelop the site of Goodison Park to create ‘a range of assets such as homes, health, education and enterprise amenities’ as they look to ensure the site remains a key part of the community. Goodison Park has been the home of the club for 127 years and a move away to a new stadium would bring to an end more than a century of history. The club’s plans have been referred to as ‘The People’s Project’ as consultation over designs and plans remain ongoing with supporters. Leighton Baines has been a long servant for the club, pulling on an Everton shirt since joining in 2007.
But he accepts it is unlikely he will get to lead out the Toffees at the new stadium. ‘It’s definitely a stretch to imagine me running out there as a player but one thing’s for sure I’ll at least be there as an Evertonian,’ said the 34-year-old Baines, who signed a new one-year contract last month.
‘The designs and the planning have been done with Goodison in mind and trying to recreate as much of that atmosphere and feeling of intimacy as we can and that’s great to hear.
“The times are that you always have to keep moving and growing, whether that be as a person, a business, a football club so we’ll try to continue that and bring our own history and develop our soul at the new stadium.’ It remains unclear whether the stadium name will link back to Goodison Park or whether it will be sold to a company to help fund the project.
But Everton are confident funding for the project will be in place in time for when pre-construction works begin early next year.
‘It is exceptionally important for us commercially in terms of naming rights, extension to our hospitality and getting fans in through the turnstiles to increase our numbers,’ said chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale
‘We are looking at it (stadium naming rights) now and are working on different commercial opportunities and offers and I am sure when people see the visual