Design & Development

Everton installs first of 52,000 seats at new stadium

Images: Everton

Premier League club Everton has marked a new milestone in the construction of its new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock with the installation of the first seats at the venue.

The milestone came on Friday morning, less than 24 hours after the final piece of steelwork was hoisted into place to complete the roofing structure. The first permanent rows of blue plastic seats, which follow previous tests to assess rail seating, were fitted in the northeast corner of the stadium.

The stadium, which will have a capacity of 52,888, is due to open in the final months of 2024. It will be a host venue during UEFA Euro 2028, which England will stage alongside Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The installation of the first seats will kickstart the next phase of the bowl development, which will see the 52,888 seats positioned over the coming six months.

Paul Harvey, construction manager for Laing O’Rourke, which is responsible for coordinating all the works within the stadium bowl, said: “We have a lot of activities that have to knit together and a lot of risk involved, so all of that needs coordinating. Although the seat installs might look like a simple operation, there are 50,000 holes to drill and a lot of safety issues, with hand-arm vibration.

“Bluecube, who are installing the seats – and led by our engineered safety team – have come up with a really good new method using new drill rigs and a suction system, and with some independent analysis, it’s pretty much taken away the risks of hand-arm vibration and the dangers of dust inhalation, so that’s a massive move to a different level of safety.”

The last seats will be installed around next Easter and it is hoped that the whole upper tier will have seats by Christmas. Once the roofing work has finished, Everton will be able to put the lower tier of terracing in. The installation team, which includes a number of local workers, aims to fit around 500 seats per day over the coming months.

Colin Chong, Everton’s interim chief executive and chief stadium development officer, said in June that the stadium remains “firmly on track” after reports suggested that the venue would not be ready for the start of the 2024-25 season.

Chong moved to clarify that a precise moving-in date had never been publicly set by Everton, with the club having stated that the schedule of the development would see Laing O’Rourke hand over the keys “during” the 2024-25 season. Chong has not ruled out the possibility of Everton playing the entirety of the season at Goodison Park ahead of the move to Bramley-Moore Dock.

Everton officially commenced work on the stadium on July 26, 2021, with a groundbreaking ceremony taking place the following month.