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75,000 Capacity

By Brian Donnelly :  22/11/2007 :  Comments (32) :
Wyness is dismissing the Loop project out of hand, because it hasn?t got the potential to expand to a 75,000 capacity stadium. I find this ironical because one of my major concerns about Kirkby is the effect it will have on our support.

In the last few years our attendance has averaged around the 36,000 mark, which is 90% of the capacity. I am also reasonably sure that, in the past, Wyness has stated that this percentage should be higher.

The proposed Kirkby stadium has a capacity of 50,000. Now 90% of this is a 45,000 average and if we make the reasonable assumption that EFC are looking for around 95% that is an average of 47,500. These sorts of crowd figures and the ability to sell the corporate side 100% are presumably what the £10M for additional transfers is based on.

If we had a waiting list for season tickets or the new ground was conveniently located, then our average attendance could drastically increase. Incidentally when Arsenal moved from Highbury they had around 24,000 season ticket holders and another 24,000 on the waiting list ? I think they have limited season ticket holders to about 44,000 at the Emirates.

Unfortunately, we have no waiting list and as Kirkby is on the periphery of Liverpool, it is not convenient for public transport. Looking at maps of Kirkby (no, I haven?t been there for years), there also appears to be a lack of parking compared with our current location ? country roads don?t lead to mass parking.

Of course there is the park & ride solution ? 50,000 leaving after a Uefa Cup night match, how many busses are going to be needed and how much will it cost to park? It doesn?t bear thinking about, especially when you consider that the further out from the centre, the more likelihood that the average supporter will need a car. Also at Goodison there is always the option of walking to Lime Street, which is a huge advantage compared with being so far away from the centre, that bus, car or train are the only options.

I just don?t understand where all these new supporters are going to come from. Yes, I know the Liverpool & Man Utd games will be full houses, but can you see the attendances increasing for Fulham, Wigan, Middlesboro etc. As for visitors to Liverpool with no affiliation to EFC making the effort to visit our new stadium, I just don?t see it happening ? again too far out.

The other problem is that there are so many people unhappy with the Kirkby option, that we will lose some of our current support. Personally, I will go and watch EFC in Kirkby, but I certainly won?t go to as many home games and possibly won?t renew my season ticket ? why bother, when it should be easy to get tickets for the games I want to see (in a stadium I don?t want to be in)?

If EFC want to dismiss the Loop or any other idea, then fair enough. I just wish that if they go public with their reasons, they are based on common sense and not some mythical figure that has been dreamed up by Wyness. In my cynical view, if the Loop could hold 75,000 then Wyness would have said 85,000.

Reader Comments

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Trevor Skempton
1   Posted 22/11/2007 at 19:45:12

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I believe that the club should make contingency plans for an ultimate capacity of around 75,000, if they have any intention of competing at the highest level. The space and connections at the ’Loop’ site are comparable with those at the Millennium Stadium, and could be adapted to meet these objectives. Also, it has been shown that Goodison could be expanded incrementally to something approaching that figure, with transport arrangements shared with the New Anfield. However, to accommodate 75,000 in Kirkby would demand a vast new dedicated transport infrastructure that would surely rule the whole project out of the question.
Michael Kenrick
2   Posted 22/11/2007 at 20:02:09

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I’ve got to agree with you, Trevor, I think this at least shows some ambition for future growth and preparedness to get us back among the top clubs in this country. Of course we couldn’t fill a 75,000-seater stadium now, but that is somewhat missing the point.

As to whether Kirkby is the right place or not, that is actually a different issue which has been amply debated elsewhere. People are combining them becasue they see it as a cynical ploy by Wyness to discount the Loop site. Well, the fact is Everton are not interested in the Loop site and it seems no amount of persuasion is is going to get them interested, or sway them from Destination Kirkby.
Neil McKinney
3   Posted 22/11/2007 at 20:16:34

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Thank god! I managed to escape that other 75,000 capacity thread on the mail bag and get on here.

Trevor, Michael, you both talk a lot of sense. I prefer to read your reasoned argument and informative posts than some of the crap that is being held up as "debate" on the other threads! You acknowledge that we should be aiming high, regardless of our current attendances, but offer up arguments as to why you feel that Kirkby may not be the place. Bravo.

I wish more of the fans that posted wrote this kind of response instead of the usual regurgitated nonsense. Most threads start with some good debate, then decend into verbal abuse.

Thanks for redeeming my faith in this site for providing info and interesting discussions/debates.


Jeez this is doing my nut at the moment
Alistair Anderson
4   Posted 22/11/2007 at 20:32:26

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The Echo has a quote from a spkesperson in Knowsley stating that the stadium in Kirby will hold 55,000 and no more. Keith Wyness now wants a stadium capable of being extended to 75,000. Does this rule out Kirby?
David Kenton
5   Posted 22/11/2007 at 20:34:38

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Re the transport question and Kirkby: there would be no justification whatsoever for revolutionising the transportation system presently catering to a population of 40,000 simply because up to 75,000 additional travellers need to get to the place 20-30 times per year. As their own Interim Policy Statement makes clear even for the planned 50,000 capacity stadium they face a monumental task on transport:

5.16 "The development proposals set out in this IPS are likely to have significant implications for transport networks. The stadium, retail and other town centre uses proposed are likely to generate very significant numbers of visitors, which could, unless adequately managed, create
significant additional pressures on the public transport and highway networks, and on car parking facilities. Pressure for car parking will be particularly significant on match days. If these issues are not addressed adequately there could be severe implications for the operation of the highway
and other transport networks, and for the amenity of nearby residents."

Mike Atherton
6   Posted 22/11/2007 at 20:56:18

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Could someone please tell me who is going to pay for this ground on the loop site?
Andrew Emmett
7   Posted 22/11/2007 at 21:00:55

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Michael and Trevor surely the 75,000 capacity expansion should have been on the table from the start and not thrown in rather cynically timed after an article in the echo stating that liverpool council are going to look at a feasability study for a ground in liverpool. I don’t see this as ambition at all but an attempt at trying to dismiss most if not all sites in liverpool. I think you have seized hold of this glorious notion of everton from an off the cuff remark. Too much weighting is given to capacity of a stadium as a source of revenue and continuing success for a club. This is not a ’contigency plan’ as you have no evidence that it exists but a silly quote by a chief executive who pays himself over 400k a year. Im undecided on kirkby itself but Wyness is doing his best to push me the other way.
Joel Landry
8   Posted 22/11/2007 at 22:47:03

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As Mike has pointed out

Even if the loop could accommodate 75,000.. be it 10 even 20 years in the future, how do we pay for it TODAY

How do we pay for the redevelopment of Goodison into a modern stadium TODAY

We can?t afford a new stadium on our own - fact

The loop site cannot accommodate a 50,000 - 60,000 seater stadium AND the retail development that make it financially viable

-and even if it could, why would any company do that with Liverpool City Centre down the road to compete with?
Kevin Mitchell
9   Posted 22/11/2007 at 22:33:23

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Who exactly is running our club?
It’s about time Bill Kenwright grew some balls and came out the woodwork to stop this maniac in his tracks right now before it’s too late.
I hope the forthcoming shareholders meeting exposes this shishter once and for all.
Karl Masters
10   Posted 22/11/2007 at 23:26:51

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Trevor & Michael:

Of course it would be great if one day a really successful Everton was playing in 75,000 capacity stadium packed to the rafters. It might happen, but our history tends to suggest otherwise.

Everton’s success has been cycical. One interesting stat is that every 24 years since 1891 Eveton have won the League- 1891, 1915, 1939, 1963, 1987 ( we are due another in 2011 so get your bets on now! :) ) and whilst there has been success in between only really in the 1930’sand 1960’s did we sustain it for more than a few seasons.

Therefore, it stands to reason that should we end up with a 75,000 capacity stadium the barren years in between success could result in much lower crowds and loss of atmosphere. We can also say that this could cost us dear as I am personally sure that only Goodison’s ’ on-top’ atmosphere has saved us a couple of times when things were bleak (1998 for example). Furthermore, the likely access problems in Kirkby will not boost attendances and 40,000 could seem lost surrounded by 35000 empty seats. Or imagine the 80’s again with only 15,000 in there!

60,000 would easily be enough. Arsenal are happy with that. Wyness has only thrown this silly number in to blow the Loop idea out of the water. This suggests to me that he believes it is more possible than he lets on. I can only feel distrust for his motives, Iam afraid and therefore with all the other reasons that cry out that Kirkby is just plain wrong I cannot back this idea.
Paddy Melia
11   Posted 22/11/2007 at 23:53:34

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So the Bestway site could be big enough for 60k, answer me this, where would the supporters cars/modes of transport be parked?
At the moment plans are in place for residents parking only within about a mile of both grounds, so what about the future?

I live in Walton and have always walked to the game, however, it stands to reason that a good percentage of the extra supporters will come from "out of town".

What happens then tarmac over Everton Park, park in town, we could get the council to knock down some of them big old red brick warehouses on the Dock Road and use them as a car park or what about park on Great Homer Street when the market is on, we could use the sports centre car park, theres a few hundred, can anybody think of anywhere else, theres Stanley Road all the way up tp Bootle I forgot about that.

Lets face it it would look spectacular but in reality not very practical. I don?t particularly want to go to Kirkby either, I can?t walk there.
I think another site would be better, where, I don?t know,
Tom Hughes
12   Posted 23/11/2007 at 00:16:19

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JL: The loop site can be financed in precisely the same way as The kirkby proposals...... Enabling developments etc. Wyness has told us that Everton are going to have to find over £50m for Kirkby in anycase, that could get a lot of redevelopment for Goodison. The figure has recently been given as £80m..... Bestway originally said that they estimated that the clubs contribution to that site would be of the order of £60m....... These all mean that either plan is as deliverable as Kirkby as far as finance is concerned. The other benefit of redevelopment is that it can be done in bite size phases as we can afford each stage..... an enabling scheme could also be used to get the first phase for negligible cost and increase the capacity upto that of the Kirkby proposal. We are only just being given this info since it would have crippled the campaign for Kirkby.
Dom Eaton
13   Posted 23/11/2007 at 00:16:28

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Excellent Brian,

One little simple point that you raised set my blood pumping and it’s a very obvious one as clearly pointed out.

I travel up for almost every home game from sunny Sussex!!! and I have done that walk to Lime Street . Normally mid week.

I 100% agree... Where are all these new supporters coming from???

I am pasionate about my club, a season ticket holder, just been treated like sh1t again, but thats for another post.

Brian,get hold of TW and give me your email...if thats OK TW
Peter Fearon
14   Posted 23/11/2007 at 03:03:13

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What a transparent lie by Wyness. There are no plans to expand to 75,000, there never were any plans to expand to 75,000. If there had been then that would have been mentioned in the initial round of lying propaganda when they were having the so-called plebiscite. What’s more, you only have to look at the development plan to see that there is no room to expand by almost 50 per cent. The only encouraging thing about this is that they must be worried about the opposition to their catastrophic plans to think they have to keep lying to keep this afloat. What I’m hoping for: someone offers the despicable Scotsman a job in the US or Australia at twice the bonus and he takes it. I’ve put his CV on a couple of headhunting sites. Fingers crossed.
Greg Murphy
15   Posted 23/11/2007 at 07:06:33

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Spot on Brian; and spot on Karl Masters.

Karl, I agree with you, although I actually believe there were two things that sustained Everton in the top-flight: Goodison’s occasional bear-pit atmosphere (we fans know when to wheel this out to blinding effect) and Mr Neville Southall (although I appreciate he had gone by 98). I dread to think where we would have ended up *considers pouring a stabilising scotch even though it’s at 7.15am...shivers*
Philip Whitehead
16   Posted 23/11/2007 at 09:05:01

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Michael Atherton :

Could someone tell me how we are going to pay for this 75,000 seater stadium in Kirkby ? - or will this all be part of the £50m free land , £75m free stadium , £10m fit out costs with minimum debt , "Deal of the century" that we’ve been told of ?
Brian Waring
17   Posted 23/11/2007 at 11:05:24

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I just can’t believe how blinkered Wyness seems to be over the Bestway proposal for a new stadium.Also,if BK is 100% comitted to the Kirkby move,why has he been so silent through it all?
Steven Flynn
18   Posted 23/11/2007 at 11:08:53

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Micheal Kenrick, Do you believe Keith Wyness is on a large bonus for relocating to Kirkby?
Phil Higgs
19   Posted 23/11/2007 at 11:19:48

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How on earth are we gonna find an extra 25,000 seats when our beatifull, inspirational Kirkby stadium is smack bang in the middle of a Tesco Superstore car park? There?s no room.

Question: To all the people who believe Wyness is just being ambitious.

Why did he not mention this factor (75,000 seats) earlier when dismissing the Loop? Because it would have put the Loop debate to bed a long time ago. Surely if this was always a consideration then it wouldve benefited him to mention it before.

And its very strange he chooses to reveal this mysterious requirement in the week he was proved catergorically wrong by HOK on the Loop holding a 60,000 capacity stadium.

Mike Atherton
20   Posted 23/11/2007 at 11:57:31

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Philip Whitehead

I dont think that kirkby is the "deal of the century" but its a lot more realistic than building a football ground on a postage stamp. Tesco are putting some of the money to kirkby project which they wont do for the loop site. So were we going to find the extra money?
Liam Reilly
21   Posted 23/11/2007 at 12:11:07

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Why can’t you give the guy a break. I’m not saying Kirby is the answer but christ, if by some nonsense one day we did need a 50000+ stadium, you’d be slating hime because he didn’t have any foresight.
He’s not saying Build it. but he’s including some contingency and anyone who wouldln’t build contingency into such a project wouldn’t be doing their job correctly.
Chris Briddon
22   Posted 23/11/2007 at 13:03:58

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Peter, you ask where there is room to expand the Kirkby proposals to fit 75 000 instead of 50,000 as you don?t think it will fit.

well you could ask KEIOC as they seem to be excellent at coming up with designs for stadiums that fit large numbers into extremely small spaces.

If yuo can fit 60,000 in the Loop or 55,000 in a redeveloped Goodison without affecting attendances in the mean time, then you can quite easily fit an extra 20,000 into the Kirkby site if required!
Jay Harris
23   Posted 23/11/2007 at 13:15:10

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I think the emphasis on the ground debate is all wrong.
It is not about 75000 (totally fictitious anyway) or 50000 seater grounds it is about LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!!

1. Transport and infrastructure- Kirkby does not even compare to a City that is used to having large numbers of people and if anyone thinks that Kirkby can accommodate more parking and easier access than the loop they Deserve Wyness.We are talking about handling more than the population of Kirkby on match days.Who is going to pay for the infrastructure to support that.Certainly not the Government,the council nor Tesco!! Where are the rail connections?

Liverpool already has a wealth of bars,restaurants,Chippies etc.
and Goodison has good demand for functions and events.
Can anyone really envisage booking their special family occasion or corporate event at Kirkby?

Tesco are not providing any money to EFC - FACT!!
Knowsley are providing pretty low value land in exchange for a massive investment from EFC and Tesco.
In comparison the loop may cost more for the land but that can be offset by partnerships and investments from hotel/leisure groups and developers who I am sure can see the value in the Everton brand IN LIVERPOOL.
Colin Porter
24   Posted 23/11/2007 at 14:04:09

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Tom Hughes,
what are the chances of getting planning permission for a standing section at the loop? If we did, surely we would have a capacity then of 60 to 65 thousound,thats with same plans they have now.Also there are a lot af fans who would love to see standing back at the football stadia in this country.
Terry Maddock
25   Posted 23/11/2007 at 17:12:52

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I’ve had a good look thru previous posts and although things like costs and ..stilts and underpasss and park and ride all seem to get covered in one way or far as "the loop site" is concerned , one thing has gone undebated..The traffic that currently runs thru the Wallasey tunnel..?????

Where will that go during the rebuilding of the traffic infrastructure at its entrance.?

Have you seen the traffic during a quiet period when one of the tunnels is closed.?

Can you imagine one being closed for months....and thats just the tunnel..its also one of the major routes into the city..

If Kirkby is a logistical nightmare..surely this is worse..?
Tom Hughes
26   Posted 23/11/2007 at 17:56:27

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Terry how can the Loop be a logistical nightmare..... the city centre was designed to receive upto 200,000 commuters every rush hour, these days it easily manages over 100,000 every rush hr and similar for evening traffic at weekends..... No other part of the city handles anything close. No other part of the city handles anything like the same number of buses or trains. There will be no need to close a tunnel. I worked for companies who managed cut+cover projects with roads still in use or partial use. These tunnels regularly closes for maintenance periods in anycase.
Dave O'Brien
27   Posted 23/11/2007 at 17:41:09

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Wyness's spout about 75% is partly to do with ending 'The Loop' hopes and partly as another 'false flag' to provide hope that we can have a ground the size of Old Trafford and the new Anfield. In one sense I can understand what he/they are trying to do and as an Evertonian from the South East I cannot claim to hold Goodison as close to my heart as locals that can boast generations of season ticket holders.

The fact is Wyness is in a shitty situation just as Trevor Birch was. How on earth can you replace Goodison when you have little or no money? Is the situation as black and white as is made out? I think it is and the lack of any forthcoming alternatives with funding is the reason.

Football has changed beyond all recognition with suits running the game ? Everton FC Ltd tried to be open with the voting (which no other club had done) and now it has become the stick to beat them with. It is wrong to leave our spiritual home behind but Football is no longer the game of the masses, it is a money spinner for the worlds wealthiest men (BK excluded) and you can't have your cake and eat it.

Football has changed beyond all recognition and we almost have a throwback for a chairman because he actually supports the club.

Tom hughes
28   Posted 24/11/2007 at 07:21:40

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Dave, we’re being told that we need £50-80m for Kirkby..... this would go a long way to redeveloping GP. Also Wyness wont find alternatives if he won’t talk to any of them, or if he attempts to rubbish them before they can even put their plan together.
Dawson Boyle
29   Posted 24/11/2007 at 11:37:38

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We’ll get more walk in support at the Kirkby retail park.

Families might pop in after they’ve been ten pin bowling, bought the groceries and been to Burger King.

Maybe the turnstile attendants will validate their car parking tickets? Dad can go for a swift pint of Chang before the trip home.
Mike Murray
30   Posted 24/11/2007 at 16:49:11

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I met a celebrity Evertonian at a work function earlier this week who works for the club from time to time.. His view, despite personal reservations, is that Kirkby is going to happen by hook or by crook. The board is 100% convinced that it is the right move in order to take the club forward. There is no chance of ’The Loop’ proposal happening while this board is in place and Kirkby remains an option. As an aside he was very complementary about Wyness and co. from a business perspective. It didn’t come as a surprise to hear that the general administration at the club was an absolute shambles and being an Evertonian carried more qualification than business acumen or competence.
Terry Maddock
31   Posted 24/11/2007 at 21:14:40

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To say that the tunnel would not need to close ..and to use rush hor when all roads are in use as an example. .read the question... A Major Route in and out of the city the Wallasey tunnel closed..FOR MONTHs... of course its a nightmare...
Tom Hughes
32   Posted 25/11/2007 at 00:19:15

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Terry, I’m not sure you understood my point about the city centre and it’s passenger capacity. The city centre is the public transport focal point of the whole city region, as such it has evolved to accommodate the highest concentrations and movements of people. People from every district of Merseyside have access to at least one direct bus/train/ferry route in to the city-centre, most have several. The road network is also arranged into predominently main arterial routes fanning out from the centre. In essence all roads could lead to our football ground!!! There is no other part of the whole area where this is achieved..... and that’s why over one hundred thousand (not the 4-5,000 per hr on trains and buses mentioned in the club’s own transport study) can access the city centre every hour (and do so every rush hr). In otherwords Kirkby represents only a few percent of the capacity of the loop area in logistical terms. As far as covering tunnels, the majority of the work could be done at night, with prefabricated sections lowered over the cutting. This is regularly achieved with new motorway bridges or indeed cut and cover subway/underpass systems all the time, and to try to make this a major stumbling block is a nonsense, especially when the alternative you’re so clearly advocating means that we will endure gridlock, and park and ride chaos for ever. How come you’re not questioning the fancifull notion that it is possible to move tens of thousands in this way in such small windows without literally hundreds of buses at Kirkby? The only place where mass public transit is available in such plentifull numbers is the city-centre..... because, as I’ve said before that’s the way the place works. Covering an existing cutting will represent a tiny proportion of the costs for any stadium on the Loop site.

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