English Premier League football club Everton’s new stadium could feature a running track that would allow the venue to stage athletics events during the Commonwealth Games.
The Times newspaper said that Everton is considering introducing the track after the stadium was mentioned as a potential host venue for Liverpool’s staging of the multi-sport event in 2022 or 2026.
Liverpool officially launched its bid for the Games yesterday (Wednesday). The city had originally planned on bidding for the 2026 Games, but has now expressed an interest in hosting four years earlier after the 2022 event was stripped from Durban, South Africa.
Everton last month announced plans to build a new stadium worth more than £300m (€354m/$376m) at Liverpool’s Bramley Moore Dock after agreeing a deal to purchase the land.
Plans for the stadium are at an early stage, with the club seeking to raise the necessary funds in order to submit planning application for the project by the end of 2017.
The Times reports that Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has asked Everton to consider including a running track in the stadium blueprint to allow the ground to stage such events as the Commonwealth Games.
The newspaper’s report added that the track would be replaced by seats during Everton games, so that supporters are not placed too far away from the pitch.
“At the end of the day Everton’s desire to have intimacy with the fans is something that I want, too, as a supporter,” Anderson said, according to The Times. “But that doesn’t mean to say that they have to be at odds with each other.
“It might cost extra but we are happy to talk to Everton about those costs and who meets those costs. As part of our partnership they have to pay us a rental and we might take a window where they don’t do that.
“When the Games were held in Glasgow, they raised the floor. It was a football stadium (Hampden Park) and they changed it to create a bowl affect. We have a unique and better opportunity here because we are starting the stadium from scratch.”