Everton FC has revealed designs for its proposed 52,000-capacity new stadium, set to be built at Liverpool’s Bramley-Moore Dock at a cost of £500m ($621m/€558m).
Everton hopes to begin construction on the new site as soon as next year, with an expected build time of three years, and be playing in its new home from the start of the 2023-24 Premier League season.
At the announcement, which took place at the Titanic Hotel close to the site where the stadium will be built, Everton claimed the project will deliver a £1bn to the Liverpool economy, giving a particular boost to the north side of the city, one of the most deprived areas of the UK.
The designs reveal steeply-pitched stands set to be built within five metres of the pitch to put fans as close to the action as possible. The centerpiece will be a 13,000-seat single-tier home stand behind the goal, similar to the one at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium. Both venues are directly inspired by Borussia Dortmund’s famous ‘yellow wall’, notorious for creating one of the most imposing atmospheres in world football.
The stands have been designed to be able to adopt rail seating in the lower tiers, which allows for conversion into safe standing areas should UK legislation around the issue change. Each of the four stands will have a “distinctive feel”, according to the club’s statement.
The stadium will also incorporate a ‘tunnel club’, similar to that at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, allowing fans in hospitality seating to watch the players before they emerge onto the pitch.
The stadium is a key part of Everton’s commercial aspirations over the coming years. Last year, the club’s director of marketing, Richard Kenyon, told SportBusiness that the new venue would allow it to offer a much greater range of tickets, from cheaper entry-level seats to a radically redeveloped corporate hospitality offering. The Bramley-Moore stadium will include different tiers of corporate seating, with the upper-level packages including padded armchair seating each with a dedicated television monitor.
Everton’s Goodison Park, its home for the last 127 years, will be demolished once the Bramley-Moore Dock project is complete, though the club will not sell the land, instead developing it into a space for its community initiatives and a memorial to the ground’s history. Final official planning applications for both Bramley-Moore Dock and Goodison Park are expected to be submitted to Liverpool City Council by the club before the end of 2019.
The club has planned to build a new home venue for some time, initially identifying Walton Hall Park as the site for the new facility back in 2014. Those plans were then scrapped and in 2017 Everton announced it had agreed terms with the developer Peel to build its new home at Bramley-Moore Docks. At that time, the project was expected to cost £300m and be fully funded by the club.
Then, last year, new stadium plans were put on hold once again with costs rising and the club reportedly looking for new sources of funding having decided against accepting a £250m loan from Liverpool city council, instead opting to seek private financing.
The club did not offer an update on funding at its latest announcement.
Everton also announced the departure of two key board members today, with Keith Harris leaving his role as deputy chairman and Jon Woods also departing the club. Harris was a speaker at the Sports Decision Makers Summit earlier this month, addressing how investment is changing sport. Watch highlights from that panel here.