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Stadium Plans reviewed

By Brian Baker :  04/01/2008 :  Comments (35) :
I have just spent the last hour studying the EFC Kirkby stadium plans. This is what I have found out:
  1. Initial capacity 50,401
  2. The club megastore is on the basement plan, located under the South stand, but this is mis-leading as the ground slopes away towards the South stand. So its entrance is above ground, but below the main concourse in the South stand.
  3. The corners are filled in only on the lower tiers. This allows for a first phase expansion by filling in the corners on the upper tiers with no great structural changes.
  4. All stands are cantilever, which means no obstructed views.
  5. South stand also contains the museum, admin areas, call centre, and main offices.
  6. The away fans have their own enclosed bar area on the 3rd floor in the South Stand.
  7. All other stands have enclosed concourses with bars, kiosks, toilets on 2 floors.
  8. The East stand contains 2 x 400+ function rooms, hospitality bars, 2 x 180+ dining areas, and press facilities.
  9. Executive boxes are in both the West and East stands.
It looks pretty good.

Reader Comments

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Rob Jones
1   Posted 04/01/2008 at 19:41:45

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Yup it does look good. I can't wait to see what it looks like in 4-5 yrs when it WILL have been built hopefully...
Karl Martindale
2   Posted 04/01/2008 at 19:44:26

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Just finished looking over these myself and they look good.

i didnt get chance to vote but ill certainly be renewing my season ticket wherever they decide to go.
Andy Macfarlane
3   Posted 04/01/2008 at 20:28:34

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I printed off the plans and the submission documents as soon as they became available online, and, like the above, have spent a few hours studying them. I was a "yes" voter based upon my perception of economic reality and "blind trust" that we were not being led up the garden path - the nightmare that what would finally be revealed was a "cheap and nasty" compromise still haunted me, however. What I am prepared to state now is that, nomatter how heartfelt and honourable are the current objectors to the move to Kirkby on "historical roots" and fears for the fanbase grounds, I hope some who have previously espoused the "Cowshed in Kirkby" argument have the decency to eat their words. This is not a 75000 seater architects dream (with the financial suicide that might follow) but a true "middle range" (in terms of seating) solution, that optimises the dimensions to deliver what seems to be a truly fan orientated environment - no vacuous spaces from ground floor to roof like at "The Riverside" - every floor level catered for by toilets, bars, and kiosks. "Sloping elevation" used to maximise "basement" area for parking and shop etc. Probably got some weak links and room for further improvement, but NOT a disaster or a "con" from what I can see so far.
Andrew Brophy
4   Posted 04/01/2008 at 21:20:45

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So the plans are finally out. Not what I’d hoped for, but about what I expected - to me it looks rather bland and identikit - a kind of souped up Ewood Park that feels rather unfinished thanks to the cutout corners. Can’t help wondering about the cost of filling them in from the start versus the cost of doing it later. I hope there is still scope for some improvements, e.g the size and rake of the lower tier, the positioning of access tunnels right behind the goals, the positioning of the staircases too low down the tier (what I’m getting at is the way what could be a massed bank of Evertonian-filled seats behind each goal is broken up). And I really don’t like just how hemmed in the place looks as though it’s going to be.

Of course there are good features - they should be a given in a new stadium, and I too am glad it’s not some architect’s self-indulgent wankfest. But I cannot help feeling underwhelmed and disenchanted at the way our expectations have been steadily managed downwards by the club.

How did I vote? No. Did I accept the poll result? Reluctantly, yes. Am I excited by the prospect offered by these plans? Definitely not. Am I ready to eat humble pie? Certainly. Will I be there? Of course.
Paul Hardcastle
5   Posted 04/01/2008 at 20:53:27

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Some really interesting documents available finally on the Knowsley Council website, especially in relation to the heated/ protracted/ aggrivated/ acrimonious [delete as appropriate] debate that has blossomed on and off on these pages.

The EFC final statement includes a detailed presentation of the club's case for the move to Kirkby. The appendicies include some highly pertinent items:

Goodison Park Stadium Redevelopment explains exactly why Goodison cannot be redeveloped with a capacity in excess of 35,000.

Then there are various Stdium reloaction assessment rEports I haven't got to yet...

Of course, it all depends how open anyone is at this stage to reading stuff we should have been provided with at the beginning of the debate, rather than then end... when it is either (a) a done deal. Or (2) never going to happen, depending on your personal viewpoint, and who you believe...

Open the floodgates one more time!!!

Andrew Brophy
6   Posted 04/01/2008 at 21:50:40

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Sorry - just to clarify. My objection to Kirkby as a location was not so much about where the city boundary happens to be at the moment but moving so far from the centre of our city. I didn’t really fancy Speke for that reason, even though it would have been much closer for me, whereas a waterfront or near the waterfront location that happened to be just inside Sefton would probably have been OK. There are still obstacles to be overcome before Kirkby becomes a reality, so we’ll just have to wait and see. But wherever we end up, I just hope that my doubts about the competence of Keith Wyness, let alone his trustworthiness, prove unfounded.
Micky Norman
7   Posted 04/01/2008 at 22:34:52

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Leaving aside the yes/no argument for a bit, at least you can’t say the club didn’t give us some idea of what to expect. I was at the Koln stadium (which is what the club have been talking about as a model) a few months back and from what i can see of these plans its just the same, although of course I’m going on memory. Anyone else who has been there will tell you its a great ground and the acoustics and proximity to the pitch make it a place which can really rock if the supporters want it to.
Brian Garside
8   Posted 04/01/2008 at 23:06:54

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You saw it first here!!!
RS fail with Stanley Park. Everton take over and return to our original (rightfull)home. (RS also get relegated)
Gavin Ramejkis
9   Posted 04/01/2008 at 23:12:29

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The Savills document on why Goodison can’t be redeveloped is quite an interesting read and should be at least countered by KEIOC, to have a specific bullet point claiming poor parking near the ground as a reason not to redevelop and then have an exclusion zone in Kirkby that the tories would have been proud of during the Falklands war is one of my major reasons why going to the new stadium will be a non-starter with me transporting disabled passengers that can currently park near to the ground using disabled parking badges but have no chance at the proposed stadium. Indeed Trevor Skempton (involved with Newcastle’s redevelopment) upset BK so much at the AGM he asked to "have a word" when the meeting finished. Again, stadium debate before it expands to another flurry of yes and no voters tearing the back out of each other should be in the correct part of the website.
Jay Campbell
10   Posted 05/01/2008 at 08:16:58

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Hope it falls flat on it’s arse!!
dave trudgeon
11   Posted 05/01/2008 at 09:46:00

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now i’ve read the reasons we can’t stay at goodison im convinced they tried to do it!
the fact that they can’t make the pitch bigger which means we could never host a final of any kind is reason enough for me to want to move
Mick Simo
12   Posted 05/01/2008 at 11:01:29

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I think the Kings Dock master plan looked a lot better, seeing that?s a distant dream and looking at the plans, I have also seen a good 3D model. It does look ok, not sure what stadium to compare it with though, not the location but the design anyone know.
Tom Hughes
13   Posted 05/01/2008 at 12:23:23

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The fact that this report was drafted in October by the company with the contract to help design Kirkby says a lot about its integrity, and that of the vote itself. Many of the points made can be readily countered, and there are a few gems hidden between the lines that stretch the truth considerably. Unable to respond properly at the mo though.
Gerard Madden
14   Posted 06/01/2008 at 00:36:01

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The Loop is dead - Long live Kirkby!

From the planning app about the loop:

The site has been assessed by KSS Design and SDG (Architectural and Transport advisors on the Kirkby scheme respectively) in terms of its physical suitability to accommodate a 50,000 seater stadium. SDG are the company responsible for transport, crowd flow and evacuation capacity analysis for the Emirates Stadium, Croke Park, New Wembley, Lansdowne Road and Stamford Bridge. Their considered view is that the Bestway site could only safely house a stadium of around 30,000-35,000 seats.

Promoters of the Bestway site had contended that the recently constructed, 60,000 seater Emirates Stadium for Arsenal FC at Ashburton Grove occupies an 8-acre site. As such their site should be able to accommodate the Everton proposals. SDG have confirmed that Ashburton Grove is in fact a 25-acre site with the stadium building itself taking up some 9-acres with a further 8 acres allocated to crowd circulation and access routes - with the remainder being given over to mostly residential development. The full and safe stadium operation therefore occupies 17 acres.

So there you have it - Pretty damning if you ask me...

I don’t think we’ll be hearing off the small cash ’n carry any more...And before Tom and Co. jump in saying HOK said this ’n that - no they haven’t! It’s irrelevent whether HOK have ’allegedly’ stated to someone that it is possible to fit a 48-55,000 (Unextendable) stadium inside a certain amount of acreage.

SGD who worked with HOK at both the Emirates AND New Wembley and were in charge of the transport, crowd flow and evacuation capacities at each of those magnificent venues have stated the site (9 acres) can only safely support a 30-35,000 capacity stadium at most. The Emirates (17 acres) can support a stadium of a 60,000 capacity.

Once again SGD are not cowboys or amateurs, they have a great track record working at both the Emirates and New Wembley and other notable venues, i’m pretty certain they would have been working with the club at whatever location we were moving to given their track record.
Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
15   Posted 06/01/2008 at 01:57:48

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Madden, you know full well that the acreage considered by SGD in their dismissal of the Loop site is for the actual area inside the loop itself and disregards the base assumption of the HOK report that construction over the roads would be required for the type of structure they have in mind.

Once you open up the loop site by construction of this nature, you have a good deal more acreage and opportunities for safe access, crowd dispersal, etc.

The economics of such a scheme are a separate discussion but SGD are not comparing apples to apples.
Gavin Ramejkis
16   Posted 06/01/2008 at 07:40:28

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Dave and partially Gerard two facts not noted are that the school next to Goodison is due to close in the next two years and the commercial premises at the Park End/Bullens Road corner is rented from LCC. Footprint and acreage immediately. Existing transport infrastructire and no need to knock down a residential care home and 70 still occupied houses.
Dave Wilson
17   Posted 06/01/2008 at 10:55:21

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Anyone remember the old financial times advert ? No FT no comment
There are people who only ever post on TW to get involved in the stadium debate or to try to turn another topic into a stadium debate, they distort facts and like Madden, constantly claim to speak on behalf of other people
The people who obviously dont go to the game have absolutely no right to an opinion on this subject
Gerard Madden
18   Posted 06/01/2008 at 13:14:01

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Dave you got a post deleted just the other day accusing a fellow blue of in fact not being a blue and you’re doing the same again by accusing a regular match goer (me) of not attending, you therefore lose the right to not be insulted - I think you’re ’frustrated’ - I guffaw heartily at that ’frustration’.
Michael Kenrick
19   Posted 06/01/2008 at 13:59:49

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Dave Wilson, I’m afraid you don’t make the rules for posting on this website, which is a priviledge, not an automatic right. The priviledge is based in part on demonstrating respect for other posters, which is clearly something you have difficulty with. I know Gerard Madden’s posts can be aggravating but your response is not acceptable. If you want to continue posting on this website, I would suggest you submit a retraction for you previous post which acknowledges that
(a) people post on ToffeeWeb mainly because they have an opinion on the issue in question,
(b) disagreement with that opinion is not a basis for precluding their posts, and
(c) neither is match attendance, whether true or false.

Thank you.
Dave Wilson
20   Posted 06/01/2008 at 15:30:53

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I love this website. you say I have trouble respecting other posters, I disagree,totally, read any post from me and you’ll find only support and respect all blues
Madden isnt in my eyes a blue, he only comes onto the scene only to make devisive comments, he only gets involved in stadium threads - showing no interest to anything else to do with Everton- on the rare occasions he posts on another topic he sneaks little "stadium" comments, check his posts and you’ll find this to be fact, if you find me a post when this isnt so I’ll give you the retraction you demand, he also constantly lies about speaking for 60/70/80/90/99% of blues
I agree attendance isnt an issue, if I offended the likes of Santosh - a tremendous blue - I appologise. but I wont appologise to people who claim to have been to games when they patently havent
If you find me a post where I have been disrepectful to fellow blues, then Ill stop posting - dont think you will - but if you want me to retract calling Madden liar and phoney, I cant do that, as I know it to be fact
If that gets me barred thats your decision not mine
Dave Wilson
21   Posted 06/01/2008 at 16:44:52

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I didnt accuse a felow blue of being phoney, I accused you !
frustrated ? not me mate, strictly come dancing was never my thing, dont worry they’ll make another series next year
Kevin Mitchell
22   Posted 06/01/2008 at 18:33:11

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For me any ground plans in Kirkby are totaly irelevelant. No matter what it looks like, this fiasco shouldn’t even be on the table.
Agent Kenwright will have completed his mission and will be open to takeover offers to take back to theartre land.
It will be a disaster for everton and also myself as I wouldn’t set foot in it.
Pro Kirkby people should be very worried about my last remark as I’m sure there are many thousand others just like me.
Dave Wilson, your spot on with your remarks about the imposter that is allowed to contribute to this site. He is the only person on toffeeweb that makes me want to throw up every time I see his name.
Tom Hughes
23   Posted 06/01/2008 at 19:14:04

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Gerard Madden,
HOK are the world authorities, they designed most of the stadia that these companies are laying claim to. They have offices all over the world and their Stadium portfolio and experience is many many times that of SDG and KSS put together. They actually designed Emirates....... which you are using as an example of KSS and SDG?s work. Emirates and Chelsea in particular are more restricted sites than the Loop, which with only small modification can be fully accessible along 2 full sides, and partial on the other. This can never be achieved at the Emirates which is bound by 2 railway lines, with only narrow bridge access on these sides. Likewise Stamford Bridge is similarly enclosed..... of course there are many more examples of similarly constrained stadia, that would never have got past the planning stage if the worst case scenario was the only one voiced. As far as I?m concerned if HOK say it?s possible then it is, simple as. As far as accessibility and transport, how anyone can compare out of town with city centre is farcical. The same transport planners have already stated that access and public transport provision for Kirkby is grossly inadequate..... hence the need for the biggest park and ride scheme in the UK since the required numbers simply cannot access or leave Kirkby from the main conurbation in the normal match-going time windows, with no assurances that this can possibly work logistically, or that the massive shortfall in public transport (compared with GP or the Loop) can be met. The assessment of redevelopment ticks just enough boxes to appear plausible, however, once again the glaring omissions, contradictions and obvious negative brief reveal a fundamentally flawed approach and dare I say a possible ulterior motive. There was lots of scope to increase capacity substantially that have been deliberately avoided, and that is before any expansion is taken into account. Nice to see they used a few of my drawings..... bit lazy on their part I thought though, and they could?ve at least got the capacities right.
Mick Mac
24   Posted 06/01/2008 at 21:24:42

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Tom, may I first say that I admire and respect you knowledge and professionalism on the subject of stadia building. I would also concede that the Loop site may have been feasable even if it was supported by sponsors in the same way the Kirkby deal is. But I doubt we will get any.

I personally havent got the necessary savy to contemplate thinking about what engineering would be required to bring Goodison up to the standards required let alone the cost and the raising of finance. What I am however certain of is that all the discussions, deliberations, procrastinating and any other word which can be thrown in is futile.

It is plain to see, the train is rolling and it aint going to stop. Kirkby is a reality. It is happening. My point here is, Tom, I think you would employ your time better if you would look towards suggesting some solutions for the possible pitfalls of the new stadium and let's all walk together.
Oh and bring back ?When your smiling?!

Karl Masters
25   Posted 06/01/2008 at 22:50:48

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To be honest, I’m not looking forward to going there at all.

I accept a move is probably the best solution although if a Club like Newcastle can redevelop their stadium twice in 15 years, I don’t really see why this is judged as impossible, especially now the school is closing and that scrap car place can be evicted if required.

We should not be moving so far from the city centre. Whether it’s Liverpool, Knowsley or Sefton is irrelevant really, but our location in relation to our identity and people is. Just because it’s by a motorway doesn’t mean it’s easy to park. Look at Reading as an example. 50,000 people can’t just turn up in 20,000 cars and dump them by the motorway exit. Park and ride hell is what we can expect I fear.

Finally, the design is very unimaginative. It’s not the same as Cologne’s. Their corners are far more filled in which contributes greatly to the atmosphere. More than anything this is so bland and unimaginative. All 4 sides are the same. Why can’t we have something more attractive ( 3 tiers perhaps? ) on the main stand side? Why is there nothing to link to the past like criss cross balconies? Why couldn’t we have have put 4 Everton towers in each corner? Cologne’s staium has four square towers and roof supports run off them. We could have stamped Everton right across this stadium with 4 of the towers off our badge in each corner. They did it for the Souvenir shop....

The answers to all the above revolve around cost and letting people who design bland concrete boxes for Tesco do the work. End result is not befitting our motto in pretty much any way and smacks of cost cutting at every opportunity.
Gerard Madden
26   Posted 07/01/2008 at 01:02:00

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Dave Wilson - I couldn?t give a hoot what you think of me but your continuing obsession with me is making me laugh - so carry on please!

Your obsession is proof that you?re frustrated, I never claim I speak for others but evidence through the ballot and the continuing lack of protests by thousands of blues tells you something doesn?t it? That the fanbase is ?content? with the move - You?re not - so be it, but sooner or later you?re simply going to have to come to terms with it and stop getting frustrated with people who don?t share your small minority view.
Michael Kenrick
27   Posted 07/01/2008 at 05:41:02

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You know, Gerard, you are rather maddening, claiming yet agian you are speaking only for yourself and then stating bold as brass that "the fanbase is ?content? with the move". Can you see how annoying that is? I’m beginning to think Dave Wilson might be right about you... who are anyway? Ian Ross perhaps???
Gerard Madden
28   Posted 07/01/2008 at 09:55:40

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Michael - until I see ’thousands of angry blues’ protesting against the move I will judge (’I will jugde’ will be the words i’ll use from now on) that the overwhelming amount of the fanbase are for the move or don’t care where we play - that plus the evidence from the ballot proves i’ve got the ’facts’ on my side on this.

You have evidently forgotten that time when KEIOC did that well publicised clarion call across the fansites for the fans to attend a protest on Goodison Road, it was in the papers and on local radio too and when the issue was still ’hot’ just after the ballot, I don’t need to remind you only a couple o’ dozen turned up to be met by smirking smiling blues happily walking past it.

I believe i’m right, the truth hurts sometimes but some people are sooner or later going to have to come to terms with it and accept their view is only a minority held view amongst greater Evertonia.

Oh and i’m not Ian Ross, obviously an Evertonian in favour of the move MUST be a club plant, a red or works for Tesco - I’ve had ’em all. LOL.
Tom Hughes
29   Posted 07/01/2008 at 12:23:49

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You obviously didn’t attend the AGM. Only one person spoke up un favour of the move, every other comment on the issue either querried it, or was against it! Bill kenwright had to concede that there was a need to reconsider the options fully..... and this despite Savil’s documents having been produced prior to the AGM, or is that another contradiction or just a typo.
Art Greeth
30   Posted 07/01/2008 at 12:30:53

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Michael and Lyndon, if you wish to insist on maintaining high standards by posters to this website, please apply them to yourself.

I can fully appreciate how aggravating Gerard Madden may be. Personally, I find it amusing how easily wound up people get to his postings, possibly because he speaks a lot of truisms they don?t want to admit.

However, because he doesn?t necessarily conform to YOUR point of view, does that merit you, Lyndon, addressing him as ?Madden?? Personally, I find that high-handed and offensive and anything you say thereafter is devalued. Have the good grace to use Gerard?s first name as a basic courtesy, no matter what you feel about him and his views.

And you, Michael, once again display your double standards. First of all you berate Dave Wilson in a sniffy tone of high morality, demanding a retraction, then shortly afterwards give Dave a back-handed endorsement with the infantile line addressed to Gerard ?I?m beginning to think Dave Wilson might be right about you... who are anyway? Ian Ross perhaps????

Consistency please, gentleman, as the guardians who oversee this website?
Damian Wilde
31   Posted 07/01/2008 at 12:43:37

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I’m tired of people threatening that they won’t go to the game if we move to Kirkby e.g. Kevin Mitchell. So what? I couldn’t give a toss if the moaners don’t go. If they won’t go then they’re not really Blues. I’d go to the match no matter where the stadium was located. You support your team whatever happens. We’ll have enough people, I’m not worried. You boys can stay at home on a Saturday and be bitter while we’re enjoying the match!

Tom Hughes, you talk about how there was only one person in favour of the move at the AGM. That’s probably becuase all the moaners can’t wait to open their mouths, while all the yes voters (the majority, remember the vote we won, accept it) are busy with their lives, getting on with other things instead of obsessing over something that they will not be able to influence.

We can’t afford to redevolp Goodison, all other alternatives aren’t viable; so we can stay and rot or add loads of time (months/years) looking for another place while in the mean time prices go up and we lose potential new revenue, or we can move to a decent stadium, with potential to grow even more. I’ve not heard one decent alternative from the no voters and even if they could come up with one it would set it all back by months/years, which would be very costly.

Stop trying to hold the club back, move with the times! Don’t get be wrong, I love Goodison, but we have to move with the times. Quite a few I speak to don’t want to move becasue it will take them longer to get there, stop being lazy!

Finally, can people stop arguing about this? This is the first post I have put on TW about this , but I’m just sick of it now, it’s constantly on TW. Evertonians rowing amongst themselves, not debating, we should be getting on, we’re unique, the People’s Club remember!

PS No midfield for Tuesday, here’s hoping we’ll be okay!
Chris Gallagher
32   Posted 07/01/2008 at 12:46:46

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I really don’t see your point regarding the comparing apples with apples.

Your point appears to be ’yes it’ll cost more but it’s possible to go to the Loop’. Technically true, but then so would staying at Goodison if we had the cash.

At the moment, we can’t find the finance for a 30,000 seater stadium in the Loop, let alone a 50,000 one, let alone the elevated walkways, etc required for a larger stadium.

Surely the closest comparison is what the two sites can currently offer, without muddying the waters by effectively saying ’well we could build x, y and z’.
Tom Hughes
33   Posted 07/01/2008 at 19:49:05

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Chris and Damian,
Not viable? Not affordable? If we can afford £80m+ for Kirkby, we can afford similar for eithre redevelopment or the Loop. It has been shown that Goodison park can be expanded to 50,000 by building just one new stand at the parkend, or obviously by building 2 or 3 new stands as and when demand and funds require, with a small landtake if necessary. The kirkby proposals involve the displacement of 80+ homes, a care home and a school. GP’s enlargement needn’t require anything like that upheaval..... not to mention the possible effects on the club’s identity, lack of continuity and the transport issues.
Gerard Madden
34   Posted 07/01/2008 at 20:11:02

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Tom - the AGM? The AGM is a small affair that far far more than 99.999% of Evertonians don’t attend and don’t care about - oops there I go generalising again.....

The loop has been shown by the experts involved in evacuation capacity, crowd flow and transport at both the New Wembley and the Emirates that it is simply not capable of handling any more than a 30-35,000 seater stadium, of course you can disregard the views of SGD in their analysis but because of their track record with the New Wembley, the Emirates and other noteable venues it is VERY likely the club would’ve been using them at whatever location we were moving to - they have no special interest in Kirkby over any other location for that reason.

It’s irrelevent that HOK ’allegedly’ said in a secret document that a 48-55,000 (unextendable) stadium can be built in a certain amount of acreage, evidently there’s far more to consider in assessing a site for a stadium than whether a stadium can be dropped into its acreage as SGD (New Wembley, Emirates etc) have pointed out.

For the umpteenth time I wait with baited breath for a statement from HOK Sports UK on ANYTHING about the tiny loop......zzzzzzzzzzz.
Tom Hughes
35   Posted 08/01/2008 at 12:15:33

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The shareholders at the AGM are representative of Evertonians views. Several hundred attended. Evertonians who care enough to have invested in the club. Many of whom travel all over to watch the team. Home/ away/pre-season, the lot. If support for Kirkby was as unanimous as you continually suggest where was the pro-kirkby response at the AGM. It was completely non-existent.
HOK haven’t allegedly done anything..... their report was released, you chose to ignore. Their expertise extends far beyond stadium design. As far as the emirates is concerned, there is less direct access than there is at the loop since the stadium is bound on two sides by railway lines, which are not readily crossable, with only a road bridge at their apex, leaving only one side open. The chelsea example is probably slightly worse...... the point being that a theoretical flow study of almost any existing stadium in the country can be used to condemn that stadium, yet these places exist and work fine. The loop is a wide open area, with only a cutting cover required on one side to expand it even further. Scotland Rd/ Gt Homer street/Juvenal street represents a fraction of the obstruction to access that the emirates site has. I suggest you visit that stadium or at least look at a map before you compare it to the loop, since the notion that it is better for access is farcical.

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