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The design of the Kirkby stadium must change

By Peter  Benson :  19/09/2007 :  Comments (35) :

Why aren't Everton going for large single tiers behind both the end stands in the Kirkby stadium? For years we have struggled with atmosphere due to the only amplification for the singers in the lower Gwladys St End being the poorly angled underside of the Upper Gwladys. The proximity between the singers in the lower tier and the roof is too large in the new design to have decent amplification.

Without proper amplification songs have to spread in wildfire fashion (ie if songs start in Block 4, people in Block 1 have to wait for a song to carry through Block 3 then 2 before it is loud enough to join in with). This requires a greater paticipation from more fans which only really happens after a major incident or in a major game when more fans temporarily lose their inhibitions.

A large single tier is superior as the vocal element can be situated directly under the roof to immediately amplify the songs around the stand for fans to instantly join in with wherever they are situated. Look at this

The other solution would be for the vocal element to be situated in the upper tier but as standing up (in front of allocated seat)is a major factor in singing, and although there is no legislation against standing up in front of your allocated seat, the Football Licensing Authority deem this as a safety risk in upper tiers. It is not a significant safety risk in lower or single tiers.

So why aren't Everton going for a large single tier behind each goal when it is clearly a superior design? Do they believe Evertonians will prefer an inferior design, to the detriment of their own club, just because Liverpool have a large single tier? Are we to pretend it is not a better design for atmosphere? Or bury our heads in the sand and pretend atmosphere is not important, and teach our children to believe the same? Many Evertonians do care about the singing, we just haven't had a stage for it.

There would be an outcry if Liverpool had a design like ours yet the design is deemed good enough for us!

There is no reason why the Executive boxes cannot be moved to either double up on the ones in the side stands or be even be suspended from the roof.

It cannot be for traditional purposes either as not only have Everton never had non-overlapping double tiers, but the whole argument for moving our ground is for a better stadium. We were asked to think with our heads not our hearts and don't let tradition halt progress.

We should be looking to create the best design possible for our needs and then characterise it Everton style not the other way round, ie we not replicate the Leitch criss-crosses on the side stands, recreate the gable from the old Main Stand even add a couple Everton towers on the outside.

Everton's motto is 'Nothing but the best is good enough', and a large single tier behind each goal is the best, therefore we should be bold and send out a signal of intent across Europe by getting it built behind both goals.

Reader Comments

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Tom Hughes
1   Posted 20/09/2007 at 07:11:18

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It could be slightly problematic if the club were to decide to one day fill in the corners..... 2 doesn’t go too easily into one.... although it is achieveable of course. There is a lot to be said about the unity of a single tier, particularly behind the goals. That said, I would argue that a sizeable top tier in a proper double-decker format could be equally atmospheric (look at the millenium stadium, and the old Cardiff arms park formats). If properly overlapping (which you are right that they barely overlap at all in the proposed design) you get the added bonus that on average people are closer to the action too. You should send your idea to the club because another endearing feature of your proposal is that it should also be cheaper than the current design, and that seems to be the primary criteria. While you’re there, ask why we can’t just do that at the Parkend for a fraction of what Kirkby’s going to cost us?!
Michael Tracey
2   Posted 20/09/2007 at 07:34:31

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I like your style Tom. Especially the end bit. I also agree with Peter about the single tier. If we do end up in Kirkby, then one huge single home end would be brilliant. The Holt End at Villa and The Kop at Analfield are two very good examples. The exec boxes can go on the main stand side and the opposite side as well. I hope that the design we saw was just a first up and hopefully the club would consider and listen to change (want hold my breath though).
Neil John Churchill
3   Posted 20/09/2007 at 08:44:44

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I admire your optimism. Before thinking of adding additions I would wait until ?barr? have stripped the added extras to meet the £50 million price tag. Already gone; the pagoda style roof, the ?people?s club? column?s in each corner, the angled sides, the two tiered entrance and the search lights (sic).
Bob Fletcher
4   Posted 20/09/2007 at 09:45:02

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How can you speculate about the proposed new stadium when no plans have yet been seen or submitted to Knowsley Planning Committee. Don’t forget the only images published are tentative proposals, not the the finished article.
Bee eater
5   Posted 20/09/2007 at 09:26:45

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Couldn’t agree more. Everything about he current plans are sad: the cheap mockups, the stupid pin lights on the roof, the lack of invention, the unfinished corners, the lack of reference to Everton! the lack of a home end! etc. etc... but I don’t think there’s enough interest from our fans in questioning the design (60% thought it looked good!!!).

In anser to some othe articles, I posted a few comments with links to the stadiums being built around europe to compare with our cheapo effort, and got mostly sarcastic answers back about us not needing an "art gallery". So it’s a shiney shed for us I’m afraid.

If anyone is bothered :
www.worldstadiums.com has a list of future ground plans
Ray Roche
6   Posted 20/09/2007 at 10:19:13

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Just a quick comment regarding the
open corners-I remember reading some time ago that the idea behind this design was to allow the pitch to dry quicker and was beneficial to clubs requiring a good pitch. Mind you, if we don?t play the ball on the ground it?ll make no difference....
Mark Stone
7   Posted 20/09/2007 at 10:20:01

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It’s got ’everton’ plastered all over it as well as pictures of previous players etc so don’t know how much more reference to Everton it can have.

I’d imagine the reason they’re going for a two tier stand is because you can get a lot more people in that way - i.e. Gwladys Street >10000 Park end 6000. Tom I don’t think filling in the corner it wouldn’t matter whether there were one or two stands. I’m sure its something that is being factored into the designs. You’ve got to remember that when your dealing with 40000 fans your never going to keep everyone happy - if the plans were one tier people would be saying what a waste. Some people just don’t like change and that is what this is all about
Gerard Madden
8   Posted 20/09/2007 at 10:34:54

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I’m glad the debate has largely moved on now to issues about the design of the Kirkby stadium, I think reality has gradually been sinking in over the last two weeks.

As Bob Fletcher said no plan has yet been submitted and i’m sure there’ll be one or two nice changes that we don’t yet know about - if there isn’t then most of us arn’y going to cry about it as the majority did vote for them, I hope we don’t get a single tier at one end though because inevitably it will be seen as a very poor imitation of the new ’kop’ and then you’ll get whiners saying why can’t it seat 18-20,000 instead of the likely 10,000 or so. Really you can’t please some people.
Alex May
9   Posted 20/09/2007 at 10:39:29

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Kenwright’s two hired thugs, Wyness and Ross, have told us that the design of the ground is not up for discussion.

Ross, with his usual charm, telling one enquirer that ’you probably don’t like the design of the petrol station’ as if this is a sensible comparrison.

We’ve been promised crap, and that description is likely to end up flattering what we get.
Mark Stone
10   Posted 20/09/2007 at 10:56:09

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I assume that comment was made in a petrol station. And he was probably right.
magicjuan
11   Posted 20/09/2007 at 11:04:41

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Ross’ reply was to a member of NSNO asking about the design, take a look over there to see full e-mailed reply, truly uppitty from Ross, though the blue was a bit rude, total disregard for the fans.
What bugs me from the likes of Mr Madden is, the images of Kirkby are being defended as just a draught and no plans submitted, but the same people poured scorn on the same thing about the loop pictures. You can’t have it both ways. Kirkby will be what was promised, cheap, tacky and not befitting a club and support of our stature.
Andy Mckenzie
12   Posted 20/09/2007 at 11:12:09

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Well its good to see a post about the poor design of this stadium and this should of been discussed before the vote, the stadium on offer is simply not good enough and a complete re-design is needed, this will not happen though because wyness has already stated that fans will have no input into the final design, its also blatantly obvious that the club have had no input into the design, the stadium we should be moving into should be unique, it should have some wow factor about it, it should have some relevance to the club something the kirkby stadium does not have, unfortunately it looks like were getting a very cheap stadium.
John Holmes
13   Posted 20/09/2007 at 11:21:29

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Just wanted to say it’s refreshing and heartening to see that irrespective of views on the rights and wrongs of the move people are starting to turn their campaigning heads towards securing the best possible stadium at Kirkby.

One can only hope the board is willing to start a dialogue with fans and listen to their suggestions. Of course they all need to be verified by the architects and experts but it would surely be to the benefit of all if the board were not too proud to admit that they may not always speak for the fans and absorb their ideas by osmosis and instead engage in some consultation.
Andy Mckenzie
14   Posted 20/09/2007 at 11:30:24

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John, i honestly believe that the majority of people against kirkby would accept the move if we had a stadium that we could be proud of, the location is’nt ideal but if you add to that by designing the cheapest looking stadium that they can possibly design then its going to make it harder, almost impossible for people to accept, i just truly hope that they take peoples opinions on board and live upto the "peoples club" motto and listen to the people.
Essex Blue
15   Posted 20/09/2007 at 11:16:07

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I wondered how long it will be before we would question the design. I for one have been chomping at the bit to vent my frustration. I cannot believe we have architects and contractors involved in a project which primarily build supermarkets and cheap stadia. After the first showing of the proposed images my heart sank. No sleek design just an amalgamation of Southampton St. Mary’s and FC Koln’s world cup stadium. We really missed the boat on the Kings Dock (Cheers Bill) and I’m afraid that this is it in terms of what we’re gonna get. Sad innit.
Nick Entwistle
16   Posted 20/09/2007 at 11:36:43

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I would have thought an adaptation of the current main stand turned into a kinda bowl would have been the least they could have scribbled.
It would have dealt with the corporate box issues, and looked brilliant... but no.
Ewood Park it is.
Bootle blue
17   Posted 20/09/2007 at 11:38:23

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What we’ve seen so far looks like a cow shed.

It’s all very sad.
Ed MacDonald
18   Posted 20/09/2007 at 11:25:37

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The key is to get rid of that white St Mary’s style cladding. It looks horrific and dates quickly

http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/park/yfh45/southamp30.jpg

Use (some) red brick!
Ed MacDonald
19   Posted 20/09/2007 at 11:45:42

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BTW I have tried emailing the club about this and other things without ever getting any acknowledgement/response. Pretty poor IMO.
Tony Marsh
20   Posted 20/09/2007 at 11:47:51

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Rumour has it that Tescos are paying only for the shell of any new Stadium in Kirkby.EFC have to find the money to complete the interior fittings Seats,Boxes Bars
etc. If we are as skint as we all think we are how is this going to happen with out proper funding? My guess now is that it wont happen.I mean over 2 years down the line and the Yes vote secured were are the Bulldozers??
John Holmes
21   Posted 20/09/2007 at 11:59:12

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Ed - interesting how much different a stadium looks on a grey day compared to the night-lit computer images. I like the concept for the stadium as something with less of the flashy ’look at me’ flourishes of the proposed new Anfield but I certainly think it needs a lot of work to win awards for more understated charm. At the moment it’s just a nice concept but rather lacking in identity.

Tony - You also predicted on another thread that there would be only 20,000 fans at tonight’s match. Bluekipper is reporting a near sell-out. Oh, and going back a few weeks, that Yakubu’s signing would peter out like the Fernandes deal. Any comment on your continuing ability to be the world’s worst soothsayer and why we should listen to your doom-mongering?
Andy McKenzie
22   Posted 20/09/2007 at 12:26:13

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Exactly steven, why oh why did?nt they use goodison as the blueprint to any new stadium, the desisns by keioc representatives regarding how a redeveloped goodison would look were impressive,so why can?t kirkby look like this?, are there any logical reasons why the kirkby stadium cannot look like goodison?

have one stand different to the other three and have the other three stands connected like a horse shoe, also you could incorporate the everton tower into it somehow, little things like that would make a difference.
James Smith
23   Posted 20/09/2007 at 12:53:31

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It’s remarkable how many of ours fans are stadium design and construction experts. Somebody should have told the club, we could have saved a fortune on architects!
Brian Wolf
24   Posted 20/09/2007 at 13:14:46

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Wow, I bet the club are thinking Peter Benson wants the stadium design changed, well best change it then.
David Kiely
25   Posted 20/09/2007 at 13:09:03

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Incredible to hear some people who voted yes to the Kirkby move (not just on here) now criticising the club for the cow shed design. Well, you voted for it you mugs. There?s your bed, lie in it.

I truly feel sorry for the lads who?ll reluctantly follow Everton out of town into that flat pack hovel. You deserve much, much better. But to think the men looking to make a fast buck from our departure up there are going to upgrade these plans to anything remotely fitting for Everton Football Club is folly of the highest order.

No chance of that happening, the dye is cast.
Gerard Madden
26   Posted 20/09/2007 at 13:19:31

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Brian Wolf - you must at least be happy (as I am) that the debate has flattened out now, it can only be a good thing that people are now discussing the merits or otherwise of the stadium design rather than the location or whether we should move or not.
Kevin Hudson
27   Posted 20/09/2007 at 13:10:35

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Unimaginative, generic, boring and uninspiring. That is to be Everton?s new home. Forget about accoustics, the point of this discussion ought to be focused on us building a pathetic replica of some German teams largely architectually unscrutinised stadium. I voted a resounding NO to Kirkby, based on the fact that our new home will not be special, coupled with the disingenuous "There is no plan B rhetoric " At it?s pomp-Goodison was a forbidding,raucous and intimidating arena. Remember how the enigmatic Jean-Marie Pfaff coyly waved to the massive Gwlady?s St at the start of the 2nd half of THAT game in?85? Goodison led the way of stadium?s with it?s revolutionary 3 tiers, and whilst I accept cash for something trult magnificent may not be immediately forthcoming, Our new ground,which I adamantly do not want anyway, should be an aesthetic thing of beauty, something that awes everyone who visits it, and reflects both glorious history,and optimistic future aspiration. A statement.
Drew Phelps
28   Posted 20/09/2007 at 14:51:04

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Interesting...

One tier, better acoustics (maybe), no boxes, fewer seats = less revenue = we stay poor and folks can continue to complain (woohoo!!!)

OR

Two tiers, worse acoustics (maybe), box revenue, more seats = maximize revenue = we have more funds to consolidate our position on the 4bubble

This proposal reminds me of one of those $2000 cars with a $4000 car stereo.
Ed MacDonald
29   Posted 20/09/2007 at 15:39:39

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OR

cheapest possible option = uninspiring stadium = poor atmosphere = less fans = less revenue
Louis Huglin
30   Posted 20/09/2007 at 17:50:57

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You are right, the design of the stadium has to be radically different from the initial computer generated images that we have seen so far. I order to generate that intimidating atmosphere the new stadium, wherever it is and however it comes into being, needs to be a cauldron of noise. In my experience (now I’m not a sound scientist or anything) football grounds where the tiers, whether one or two, are right in close to the pitch and pretty steep are much better at keeping in the noise. Compare White Hart Lane to the Emirates - which has the better atmosphere?

There are plenty of other reasons why the design must be different from the tentative first look we have been given - our new stadium must be unique, a real home for Everton FC. Rather than a kit-stadium, the new one must stand out, perhaps with a tower in one corner (as a hotel? Entertainment? Extra revenue!) to emulate the tower in the crest and to echo the steeple of the church at goodison? Anything that marks our stadium out as the best of the best, better than New Anfield and better than the Emirates because, as you say, Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.
karl masters
31   Posted 20/09/2007 at 17:59:00

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It’s a disgrace that a Club that pioneered so many groundbreaking things in football from goal nets to dug outs to numbered shirts to undersoil hating to 4 double decker stands and then the first triple tier stand in Britain has sunk to a point where we are proposing the blandest of stadiums as our new home.

We won’t even be housing the David France Collection there ( if we ever get off our arses and buy it! ). An Everton Museum there would have been fantastic.

Kenwright goes on about our history, but then fails miserably to include any of it in the new plans.
Tom Hughes
32   Posted 20/09/2007 at 18:08:01

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Mark wrote:
"I?d imagine the reason they?re going for a two tier stand is because you can get a lot more people in that way - i.e. Gwladys Street >10000 Park end 6000. Tom I don?t think filling in the corner it wouldn?t matter whether there were one or two stands."

Two tiered format is only more economical on space if the tiers over lap. This doesn’t appear to be the case with the proposed images save perhaps 2-4 rows. Hence the analogy with our 2 current end stands not being too accurate. The proposal is pretty much for a stepped single tier. People should also not be under any illusions about the missing corner sections. These are not there because corners are intrinsically more expensive than straight stands due to their added complexity. Sometimes 3-3 times more so, that’s why we’re not getting them not some nod to tradition as was intimated. If so why say that they would later be filled if necessary?
Dave G
33   Posted 20/09/2007 at 23:13:55

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I don’t know why everyone’s getting so steamed up about the move to Kirkby. It won’t happen. Why? Because the Everton Board are totally incompetant and will fuck it up, that’s why. Fear not, we will still be at Goodison in 20 years time and more.
Gerard Madden
34   Posted 21/09/2007 at 00:40:11

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Dave G - Who is in charge of the whole Kirkby project? Three words - Sir Terry Leahy.
Tom Hughes
35   Posted 21/09/2007 at 07:11:47

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GM: Do you think you can get him to sort out yet another ticket fiasco? Of course there will be an excuse..... there always is!

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