Everton to build a 21st Century football stadium for Liverpool – Everton Football Club have revealed proposed designs and project planning for its new stadium which would be built on semi-derelict dockland in North Liverpool and deliver a £1 billion boost to Liverpool’s economy.
Everton have for many years operated in the shadow of their close neighbours Liverpool Football Club. The proposed new stadium would be a quantum leap for Everton in terms of both the match day experience for fans and positioning the football stadium as one fit for the 21st Century.
This new stadium would also catapult into a position of being the obvious location and host of special football fixtures and wider sports occasions. International and European competition fixtures would have a new compelling location in the North West of England. A claim the current incumbent of that position Manchester United’s Old Trafford, and Liverpool Football Club’s Anfield stadium could not compete with.
Anfield has been the home of Liverpool Football Club since its formation in September 1893 and since then has been redeveloped on numerous occasions. It holds a very special place in English football but is not a 21st century stadium.
Plans to replace Anfield have been many and were originally initiated by Liverpool F.C. in May 2002. The proposed capacity was 55,000, but it was later revised to 61,000, with 1,000 seats given for segregation between home and away fans.
Several attempts were then made between 2003 and 2007 by the Liverpool City Council to instigate a groundshare of the proposed stadium with Everton, but this move was rejected, as neither club favoured it.
On 30th July 2004 Liverpool F.C. was granted planning permission to build a new stadium 300 yards away from Anfield at Stanley Park. On 8th September 2006 Liverpool City Council agreed to grant Liverpool F.C. a 999-year lease of the proposed site.
Following the takeover of Liverpool F.C. on 6th February 2007 by George Gillett and Tom Hicks, the proposed stadium was redesigned.
In November 2007 the redesigned layout was approved by the council, and construction was due to start in early 2008. The new stadium, provisionally called Stanley Park Stadium, was to be built and was scheduled to open in August 2011 with a capacity of 60,000.
If the new stadium had been built, Anfield would have been demolished. The land would have become home to the centrepiece for the Anfield Plaza development, which would have included a hotel, restaurants, and offices.
However, the construction of Stanley Park was delayed following the economic crisis of 2008 and the subsequent recession, which directly affected the then American owners.
The situation worsened as the club was bought with borrowed money, not the owners’ capital, and interest rates were higher than expected. Hicks and Gillett promised to begin work on the stadium within 60 days of acquisition of the club, but had trouble financing the estimated £500 million needed for the Stanley Park development.
The deadline passed and the plan was eventually cancelled as their preference was to redevelop Anfield.
Much noise has come from both clubs over many years on the development of a stadium that could be shared, and the city of Liverpool could be rightly proud of, it seems now that a significant lead has been taken by Everton F.C. in realising this goal independently of their neighbours.
The proposals released by Everton F.C. look like they are both considered and actionable. The city and region of Liverpool would benefit significantly through job creation and inward investment, so local authorities can be expected to approve the proposals expected to be submitted before the end of the year.
Images featured in this article of the stadium were first revealed at an event for the Club’s fans to showcase the proposed new stadium. The event was held in a former warehouse at the Titanic Hotel just yards from the proposed Bramley-Moore Dock site, part of the wider Liverpool Waters development.
The concepts show a stunning brick, steel and glass design which takes its inspiration from the historic maritime and warehouse buildings nearby.
The structure combines the historic and the modern, with the brick base of the stadium incorporating a subtle nod to Goodison Park’s famous Archibald Leitch lattice work while the dynamic roof structure made from steel and glass gives the stadium a modern finish.
The stadium is made up of four distinctive stands including a large steep home stand to the south that will house 13,000 Evertonians on matchdays.
Supporters will be as close to the action as regulations permit as the Club seeks to capture and amplify the intensity and intimacy of Goodison Park in this modern arena.
The design of both North and South stand lower tiers will make it easy to adopt rail seating and, should legislation change in the future, they could also be converted into areas for safe standing offering supporters optionality and flexibility in the future.
No details have been received of the new hospitality facilities, as with all new stadia especially recent football stadia in the UK, hospitality will need to also be of a 21st century standard.
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in North London is generating £800,000 in food and drink revenues at each home game through a diverse range of hospitality suites, restaurants, bars and street-food outlets on stadium concourses.
Based on 19 Premier League games and a minimum of three Champions League group matches, that is an additional income of £17.6million per season.
Everton F.C. like the rest of teams in the Premier League will find it difficult to compete with Tottenham Hotspur’s hospitality revenue, and we look forward to learning what they will be.
Everton F.C. also used the new stadium launch event to reveal its plans for the redevelopment of Goodison Park to create a range of community assets such as homes, health, education and enterprise amenities as well as the introduction of public space which will include a lasting tribute to the Club’s current home of 127 years.
The event marked the start of a month-long public consultation into the Club’s plans – which have been badged as The People’s Project – with the results of the consultation informing further refinements to the proposals.
Following the final detailed design work, two planning applications will be submitted by the Club: 1) a detailed application for Bramley-Moore Dock and 2) an outline application for Goodison Park. These applications are expected to be submitted before the end of 2019.
Everton’s Chief Executive Officer, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale said of the new stadium: “Today marks an incredibly important milestone for us as we seek to build a new stadium which will act as a ‘game changer’ for the Club and our city region.
“Our proposed stadium design takes its inspiration from both our city’s maritime history and from our Club’s rich heritage and traditions.
“It is, first and foremost, a stadium for football, for our passionate fans and for our players. A stadium that gives Everton Football Club a platform for growth both commercially and socially. But it is also a stadium for the entire city and a development which will deliver transformative benefits in terms of regeneration and inclusive growth for the whole Liverpool City Region and for North Liverpool in particular.
“Our plans for Goodison Park, although much more outlined at this stage, fulfil our promise to our neighbours in Liverpool 4 to work together to create something that will benefit the community for generations to come.
“There is still much work to be done to deliver both the stadium and the community-led legacy in Liverpool 4 but we remain on track to deliver these amazing transformational projects.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us so far and especially would like to thank our fans, the residents and businesses around Goodison Park and the people of this city for listening to us, for sharing their ideas with us and for backing us on this journey.
“It is important that people continue to give us their views during this public consultation, so I would urge everyone to visit the exhibition as it tours the city region or go to the project website to take part.”
Construction of the stadium, on what is largely abandoned dockland, would be a huge fillip to Liverpool’s economy and would kick-start major regeneration in the north of the city, which is one of the most deprived areas in the UK.
Research carried out by international property consultancy CBRE indicates the proposals would deliver a £1bn boost to the city’s economy with the potential for up to 15,000 new jobs generating £34m of income to local families.
Annual Council Tax receipts would be boosted by more than £2.2m and there would be an uplift of up to £1.7m in Business Rate income. It is also estimated an additional 1.4 million visitors would be attracted to the city if the stadium were built.
Earlier this year Lord Michael Heseltine, former Deputy Prime Minister and long-term champion of Liverpool’s regeneration, described the Club’s plans as a ‘golden opportunity to bring lasting change to the north of the city’, while a range of private and public sector leaders have expressed their support for the proposals.
The new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who in many ways is not a friend of the city and region of Liverpool due to comments and writing in the past, could also be realistically expected to support this project. He is doubtlessly looking for projects that underline how Great Britain can be great again, justifying his golden age speech in the commons last week. As a champion of the proposed new Goodison Park he could go some way towards being seen as a friend of Liverpool.
A 21st Century football stadium for Liverpool is much needed if you compare the stadiums of nearby Manchester City and Manchester United with the current Goodison Park and Anfield. Not only would the city of Liverpool benefit from its standing in footballing terms, it would benefit financially through job creation and inward investment.
New hotels, restaurants, pubs and bars would be created if the new Goodison Park becomes a reality. So, let’s hope that Everton do take their plans forward and do make the new Goodison Park a reality.
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