Design & Development

Everton to debut at new stadium in 2025-26

Featured image credit: Everton

Everton has announced that it will play its first competitive fixtures at its new stadium at the start of the 2025-26 season, but the Premier League club has stressed that this decision is not because of a construction delay with the venue still scheduled to be completed in the final weeks of 2024.

Everton interim CEO, Colin Chong, made the announcement today (Friday) following a recent meeting with the club’s Fan Advisory Board (FAB). Chong, also chief stadium development officer, said in June that the stadium remained “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 had not ruled out the possibility of Everton playing the entirety of the season at Goodison Park ahead of the move to Bramley-Moore Dock, with this decision being confirmed today.

Chong said: “Firstly, and to be absolutely clear, our decision to not move in mid-season is not because of a construction delay. It is a club decision driven by a combination of commercial insight, a comprehensive review of the logistics required, an analysis of the potential impact upon our football operations and, importantly, fan feedback sourced as part of our recent stadium migration survey, which was completed by almost 10,000 Evertonians.  

“Everton Stadium remains firmly on track, as scheduled, to be completed in the final weeks of 2024. We will need to conduct test events at our new home, which will allow us to stress-test the stadium in a number of different ways in order to obtain our safety certificate. It will also give Evertonians a chance to see and sample the new facilities. 

“Some of our test events will involve crowds of varying capacities, while others will need to be operationally focused and only involve our own staff.”

Everton last month released images showcasing the scale of the steep-tiered south stand, which will have a capacity of over 13,000 once complete. Everton marked a new milestone in October as it installed the first seats at the 52,888-capacity stadium, which is costing £760m (€884.3m/$963.6m) to develop.

Everton officially commenced work on the stadium on July 26, 2021, with a groundbreaking ceremony taking place the following month. The 2024-25 season will now be Everton’s last at Goodison Park, the club’s home since 1892.

Chong said: “By the time we close the gates for the final time, Goodison will have been our home for nearly 134 years, with many supporters telling us very clearly about their desire to make sure the Grand Old Lady gets a fitting send-off. 

“For a while now, the club has been looking at a series of events, tours and celebrations that will allow us all to pay tribute to one of the world’s most iconic and well-known stadiums. Now we know the farewell to Goodison will be a year-long celebration, we can start to firm up those plans and we will begin to reveal more details around what is planned and how fans can get involved later this season.”

He added: “Our club is special because of our fans. It is the fans that make Goodison such an iconic auditorium for football – and it will be the fans that elevate the truly beautiful stadium that has risen on the banks of the Mersey into our new fortress, and one of the finest sporting venues on the planet.”