Everton has announced that it is proposing a capacity of 52,000, expandable to 62,000, for its new stadium, with the English Premier League football club adding that it will be “futureproofed” for any potential change in regulations concerning safe standing.
Everton provided the latest update in its proposal to develop a new home at the Bramley-Moore Dock site on the banks of the River Mersey in Liverpool yesterday (Thursday). The proposed capacity and design of the new stadium will be subject to further public consultation and engagement with supporters during the design process, along with other important stakeholders such as Liverpool City Council and Historic England.
Everton said 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. The design of two of the stands will seek to ensure easy adoption of a rail seating/safe standing solution, which will offer optionality and flexibility, should the law on this subject change in future.
The proposed capacity figure follows extensive engagement with fans and consultation with a range of professional advisors who have expertise in stadium design and defining the optimum capacity for new stadia. The Guardian newspaper notes Everton currently has around 32,000 season ticket holders, plus a waiting list of 10,000.
A widespread public consultation was held into the club’s plans for Bramley-Moore Dock, which is part of Peel Land and Property’s Liverpool Waters site, and the creation of a community-led legacy at Goodison Park, during which Everton said questions on the capacity of the new stadium were among the most frequently asked.
Earlier this month, Everton thanked supporters for their involvement in the initial public consultation process, with the findings set to be released in the new year. A second public consultation will be held in the summer when proposed designs of the stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and an initial overview of proposals for Goodison Park will be presented.
The club intends to submit a detailed planning application for the stadium in the second half of 2019 and, at the same time, an outline planning application for the redevelopment of Goodison Park, Everton’s home since 1892.
Colin Chong, stadium development director, said: “At this stage, it is important to stress that this is our ‘proposed’ capacity and it is what we are currently working towards. It is important to emphasise that the final capacity and design will be subject to further engagement and consultation.
“We believe that our approach is the right one because it is commercially and financially sustainable and will mean that, in the long term, we will be able to increase the capacity should there be a demand and requirement to do so.
“Extensive work has gone into assessing the optimum capacity at the point of opening to create the best possible atmosphere for fans and, in turn, supporting the players on the pitch. At this stage it is not possible to say if and when any capacity expansion to an absolute maximum of 62,000 would take place. That would also be subject to further design work, fan and community consultation and planning approval.”
Stadium architect Dan Meis added: “We know from all of the conversations we’ve had with fans that they want a stadium that is atmospheric, feels like a fortress and supports the players on the pitch. They also want the club to be ambitious for the future.
“We believe this proposed approach to design and capacity meets with those aspirations. Our design and engineering approach will give us the potential to expand in the future. This will be done if and when we are at a stage where it is financially viable and fits with our key principles.”
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