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GFE Feasibility Study for Redeveloping Goodison Park
How Big Should the Stadium Be?

When Goodison Park was first built gates increased. When Ajax moved into their new stadium gates increased. When Northampton moved into their new stadium gates increased. When Sunderland and Reading moved into their new stadium and got relegated gates increased. Now or then, Premiership or Nationwide, UK or overseas it does not appear to matter. New stadiums increase attendances.

There are many reasons for this "New Stadium Effect". Views are better, that last 5 000 seats with restrictive views are no longer restricted. Facilities are better. A lot may be down to people attending a match "just to see what all the fuss is about" and finding out how exciting it is. Whatever the reasons it has to be said that the effect exists and is big – two thirds increase in attendances is about average, the above costings assume 28.5%.

An increase in capacity does not have to sell out to be financially profitable.

At an incremental cost of £500 per seat extra interest of 12% x £500 = £60 will be incurred.

That will be covered by sales for just five matches at £14.50 (giving £14.5 x 5 = £72.50).

The surplus of £72.50-£60=£12.50 can be used to reduce the loan to £487.50. The following season, with seat prices now at £15.15 and the lower loan generating interest of £58.50, five sales produce a surplus of £17.25. The surplus continues to accelerate until, in this very marginal example, the seat pays for itself in 11 years, selling the seat 6 times a year repays in 9 years, 7 times repays 7 years and so on. The question is not "can we fill the stadium" but "can we fill the stadium about six times a year".

In order to allow realistic comparisons with the Club's existing plans to build a 50 000 seater stadium this review has limited itself to examining this capacity.


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