Everton announce first findings of stadium survey

Thursday, 22 March, 2018 65comments  |  Jump to most recent

Everton have revealed the first findings from the recent survey of fans undertaken following the release of their 11 Key Principles that will guide the proposed move from Goodison Park to Bramley-Moore Dock.

The club unveiled the Principles at the end of January and invited supporters with customer numbers to answer a number of questions, ranging from the capacity and look of the new stadium to what sort of legacy Everton should leave behind in Walton.

Over 10,000 Evertonians have taken part in initial surveys over the planned relocation and 97% of the respondents to this most recent one agreed that the Principles presented represented a ‘clear vision for the new stadium'.

Making the new stadium ‘A Fortress' — “a stadium that maximises atmosphere and creates a home advantage” — was ranked as the most important of all the 11 Principles while including the Dixie Dean statue at the new site and introducing a club museum for the first time were also rated as important features.

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In terms of the new ground's design, more than 60% preferred a “square shaped” design compared to a curved or “bowl” design, with more than 80% preferring that the corners of the stadium be ‘filled in' rather than left open. 

Two-thirds preferred that the away fans be located in a corner of the stadium, and 93% opted for the tunnel to be on the halfway line. 

The issue of capacity, meanwhile, has become a hot talking point among some fans in recent days following CEO Robert Elstone's admission that the Bramley-Moore Dock structure might not see as big an increase in capacity as first thought.

99% of survey respondents expressed a preference for a stadium seating in excess of 50,000, although it's not clear how many would opt for 60,000 or more.

Everton are now taking applications for fans to attend a series of forums that will be held with the club's chosen architect, Dan Meis, during the week commencing 2 April.


Reader Comments (65)

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Harry Wallace
1 Posted 22/03/2018 at 06:51:02
Interesting that they chose 50,000 or more and not 55,000 and 60,000 plus as options too. With Esk recent write up on the last meeting I think we'll get a capacity close to 50,000 which would be an opportunity lost in my opinion.

At the very least 55,000. Preferably 60,000. I think we'd fill it and would make significantly more revenue than 55,000.

Colin Glassar
2 Posted 22/03/2018 at 07:20:36
What next, a pop quiz, a raffle, a jumble sale? This must be one of the most long-winded, drawn-out moves of all time. Show us a bloody drawing, at least, to whet our appetite!
Will Mabon
3 Posted 22/03/2018 at 07:26:45
Colin – welcome to the age of ultra PR-driven, multi-media "Exploring" of the ins & outs of a cat's arse before anything can go ahead. There will be a drawing, eventually, somewhere in the "Journey"...
Colin Glassar
4 Posted 22/03/2018 at 07:32:51
This all smells of bullshit to me, Will. Throwing us a few few crumbs every so often to keep us quiet. Echoes of Kings Dock and Destination Kirkby?
Tom Hughes
5 Posted 22/03/2018 at 07:59:25
The architect has been posting about what it's going to be like for years, and we're being asked about what we want now? They've had 3 (really 4) failed moves in the past 20 years, if they don't know what is required by now, they never will.

The negative body language and wording at the recent presentation, and this arse-about-face process tells me that the club reached an hiatus with this scheme when they lost the Commonwealth Games bid, and probably even a good while before that, when initial fanfare gave way to cold hard numbers.

Derek Thomas
6 Posted 22/03/2018 at 08:21:08
Cynical hat on; The Club have, all due respect to the chosen few, whoever they may be, 10,000 to pick from whose views broadly coincide with what the Club has already decided it can afford.

Expectations are already being managed and we will get, for better or worse, a capacity of no number that starts with a 6, a degree of finish totally dependant on the amount of finance we can scrounge up. If we can't hit an as yet to be decided minimum of raised cash, Elstone himself said we will walk away.

Brian Murray
7 Posted 22/03/2018 at 08:44:59
Broken record I know but while Bill, Bob and Co are pulling strings, it will end up a blue taped opening of a new tier on the Park End with Bill insisting this was our real plan all along as he cuts the ribbon.

Dan Meis wants an innovative unique statement of intent. I'd be happy with a derby win and 9 new firsteamers. Plus a manager.
Lee Mandaracas
8 Posted 22/03/2018 at 09:05:20
I think the design is going to be a real stumbling block for Dan Meis. For practical reasons on the pitch (being closer to the players, intimidating atmosphere for away teams, etc) we need the traditional rectangle we currently occupy.

The trouble is, can anyone think of a 'pretty' rectangular ground? To look contemporary and impressive architects and fans of the aesthetic will want oval. Look at The Echo Arena – aka Kings Dock – for example (weeps for a moment, then composes himself)..

I am really intrigued to see what he comes up with eventually but worry about the volume level of the inevitable protesters.

Martin Nicholls
9 Posted 22/03/2018 at 09:10:42
If the Club listens and acts on the views of the 10,000+ (myself included) who "voted" in this survey, I sincerely hope it also listens and acts on the views of the 12,000 or so who voted in the TW poll on Allardyce's future!
Tony Everan
12 Posted 22/03/2018 at 09:21:29
My cynical head says they are keeping the PR ticking over while the funding issues are still to be resolved.

The reality is, until the funding is rubber-stamped, it will all just be a cocky watchman and a portakabin, with a capacity of 61,878 chocolate hobnob crumbs.

That said, I fully agree with the majority of fans opinions about the overwhelming priority. Create a fortress. Also, a square design. Away fans in a corner. Dixie's statue. These are all requirements. 61,878 is the dream capacity.

My romantic head says I love the club for having the fans opinions up front , and hope with all my heart that funding is sorted and groundwork's start later this year.

Ray Roche
13 Posted 22/03/2018 at 09:28:21
Tom (#5),

The three (or four) previous failures to provide a new stadium all happened under the governance of the Old Guard. Hopefully Moshiri has more about him than that lot. Actually, my cat has more about him than that lot.

"The architect has been posting about what it's going to be like for years". How many years has Meis been posting? An unacceptable number of years? If he posted nothing people would be moaning about us not getting any feedback.

And, as you say, if his brief has been to possibly accommodate the Commonwealth Games,his back up plan, to build a stadium without any constraints regarding the Commonwealth Games would surely need a little bit more time than if he was just designing a football stadium. Maybe he has had to redesign parts of his original plan after the failure to land the Commonwealth Games.

I find all this negativity surrounding any proposals the club put forward as wearying. I think some people who come on here would be delighted if this stadium move comes to nothing and we end up staying at a decrepit Goodison. "I told you so" would be an oft heard mantra on these pages.

That last bit is not levelled at you Tom.

Roger Helm
14 Posted 22/03/2018 at 09:29:21
I read the headline and got excited because I thought that at last they had got round to some geolological or building work survey, but it turns out to be just a public opinion survey. Doh!
George Stuart
15 Posted 22/03/2018 at 09:42:32
Will Mabon[3]. Ins and outs of a cats arse 😂 I haven't heard that in decades.

All pretty negative on here them? I can't say I can mount a convincing counter argument.

The prospect of a slightly larger, more shoddy finish, ground is depressing.

For what its worth I would prefer a 40k, straight sides with open corners that are planed to be filled in as we prosper and then eventuality outgrow our 80k stadium. Even as a semi-joke. it sounds hollow. :^(

Rob Young
16 Posted 22/03/2018 at 10:02:37
Lee (#8)

Tottenham Hotspur's new ground looks like it will be all that we want – closer to the players and intimidating atmosphere.

Seems a perfect example for Meis to look at.

Joe Hurst
17 Posted 22/03/2018 at 10:31:39
Indeed. There's only the one negative of that ground, which thankfully won't affect us: it's gonna be mostly full of spuds.
Peter Mills
18 Posted 22/03/2018 at 10:39:25
I’m approaching this issue in the same way I deal with following Everton - I have very little control over it, but I support it and am hoping for the best.

The questionnaire was fair, it went into quite a bit of detail, I completed and returned mine, coincidentally or not the headline results pretty much reflect my own opinions.

This is an opportunity of a lifetime for our club. Bramley-Moore is a superb location for a stadium which would act as a catalyst for the re-development between the dock and the city centre. Everton FC needs to be at the forefront of this, the alternative will be continued atrophy.

There are, of course, risks associated with the project, the club will be putting itself into hock for many years to come, it cannot be “future proofed”. It could go wrong. But without taking risks, the decline we have witnessed at our club by standing still while others have moved forwards, will only continue.

Tony Marsh
19 Posted 22/03/2018 at 11:30:11
Tom@ 5,

I wish more fans thought and spoke like you just did in your post. (MK included). 2 years down the line and the club is still pontificating and stalling for time.

Not one piece in tangible evidence has come out of EFC that a stadium will be built at Bramley-Moore Dock. Micheal Kenrick's recent reference to studies carried out have not been credited to EFC.

Rudi Coote
20 Posted 22/03/2018 at 12:18:02
Guess who isn't going to Bramley-Moore...? EVERYONE!

I'll believe it when I see it. Until a spade goes into the earth, I won't believe any of it.
Mike Kehoe
21 Posted 22/03/2018 at 12:22:53
I'm struggling to see how the organisation that has performed so poorly and lacked the most basic of acumen, re failing to replace players, panicked managerial choices etc, can hope to deliver such a big project.

The prospect of the same people who have presided over this seasons delights being tasked with something of this magnitude does not inspire confidence. On the evidence so far, they don't know their arse from their left back.

John G Davies
22 Posted 22/03/2018 at 12:23:34
Rumours of Kenwright leaving do not fill me with hope for the new stadium being built.

Fits in that he jumps ship just before the news comes through of the collapse.

Dan Parker
23 Posted 22/03/2018 at 12:24:13
There was a survey for that disasterous crest redesign a few years back. It’s great to keep fans engaged but there’s a risk that a survey might provide false leads, especially if it’s online. Canvassing match-day goers might be more sensible.
Ray Roche
24 Posted 22/03/2018 at 12:30:49
Dan, canvassing matchday fans is fine but, if they have just spent 3 hours in the Winslow, it would be a waste of time!!
Lawrence Green
25 Posted 22/03/2018 at 12:41:56
Dan (#23),

I'm pretty certain that you had to be a season ticket holder to take part in the survey, or at the very least, a member. I will stand to be corrected If I'm wrong.

Paul Smith
26 Posted 22/03/2018 at 12:50:50
I was excited by this a few years ago but it's being done to death by the club.

Hope it's more about getting it right than buying time to get the funding.

Scott Hall
27 Posted 22/03/2018 at 14:03:47
Does anyone else live in a constant state of hoping that they're wrong when it comes to Everton?

I don't think Bramley-Moore Dock will happen but I hope I'm wrong.

I think Liverpool will play us off the park but I hope I'm wrong.

I don't think the players respect the manager but I hope I'm wrong.

I can't see any big names wanting to come to us this summer but I hope I'm wrong.

I think Wayne Rooney will take the next penalty but I hope I'm wrong.

Don Alexander
28 Posted 22/03/2018 at 14:10:59
A glance at the ground capacities of those now in the Premier League indicates Goodison Park is 8th from the top. If we go to all the expense and upheaval of moving into a 50,000-capacity stadium, it will mean we'd then be 7th from the top, having overtaken only Chelsea, the top six already having capacities in excess of 50,000 – and Chelsea are due to increase theirs as we speak.

Some ambition, that!? I think not, and it would continue to send out all the same sort of wrong messages to the football world that everyone's had to endure for decades.

Brian Williams
29 Posted 22/03/2018 at 14:36:40
The golden rule that we havet o abide by is "get it right first time." That, IMO, should also encompass future proofing the build by allowing for the capacity to be increased with minimum effort and minimum outlay.

Surely a stadium with a 60k capacity, but not necessarily 60k seats from the outset, could be built using a design that allows for rows of seats to be added to increase the actual capacity to 60k and beyond.

Michael Archer
30 Posted 22/03/2018 at 14:59:12
My suggestion was to build down rather than up. Two advantages:

1st – we can bolt on stands like the Red Shite did, thus add to capacity if needed in 50 years time or whenever.

2nd – anyone realise how friken cold it's gonna be in THE middle of December on a Monday night by the docks??? Dig down protects fans from weather a bit.

Phil Smith
31 Posted 22/03/2018 at 15:20:13
The only way we'd fill 60,000 is having on-field success and that is what we're aiming for long term, so it has to be at least 60,000 capacity.
Michael Lynch
32 Posted 22/03/2018 at 15:33:44
I'm looking forward to seeing the Spurs ground next season as a guide to what we might do.

As far as capacity is concerned, the bigger the better. It's a one-off chance to set our ambitions high. Right now, football is a sell-out sport, and I've no doubt we could get 50-55,000 bums on seats for most matches. I think we should be setting the capacity beyond that for future growth. 60,000 seems to be the minimum requirement for big clubs these days; if we aim to be one of the big clubs, we should be looking at what the parameters might be in five to ten years time.

I think we should have a ground that could fit 70,000 personally. I mean, who would have thought a few years ago that 60,000 would start looking too small?

Build for growth. If the worst comes to the worst, we can fill the ground with freebies.

William Gall
34 Posted 22/03/2018 at 16:38:17
I think 55,000 would be the benchmark to start with. and the ability to add 5,000 more in the future if the need arises .

Whatever it is going to be I wish they would get the damn thing started and finished as – having played on Goodison Park in 1952 and having just come through open-heart surgery, replacing 2 valves – this will be high on my Bucket List!

Danny Broderick
35 Posted 22/03/2018 at 16:45:50
‘99% of survey respondents expressed a preference for a stadium seating in excess of 50,000.'

Is this the club setting the bar low to deliver a stadium with, for example, a 52,000 capacity, and they can then say that they have delivered what the fans want?

Most people I know want 60,000. I'd be disappointed if we got less than that really – this is our opportunity to get back into the big time. We need to think big. There are several clubs that would probably bring 7-8,000 away fans if we let them. And I am confident we could get over 40,000 season tickets. Add in some corporate seats and some room for people who buy individual match tickets, and you will soon be mid-50s for most matches, with the possibility of reaching 60k several times a year.

It would be good to see some concrete plans soon anyway.

William Gall
36 Posted 22/03/2018 at 16:46:11
I don't believe, as some supporters are suggesting, that 60,000 - 70,000 is unreasonable as I seem to remember being in the ground with what was reported at the time to be 74,000 against, i think it was Burnley around the Xmas time. At that time, it was standing room that some people are proposing being returned.
Andrew Clare
37 Posted 22/03/2018 at 16:51:51
Football is the most popular sport on the planet, with even so-so teams filling their capacity. We get nigh-on 40,000 every week with one of the worst Everton teams I can ever remember. If we have any ambition at all, we have to think big. 60,000 has to be the capacity or else we will fall further behind our rivals.

Let's just remember, it was only 30 years ago that we had a team and a record that was the match of anyone. Only three clubs have won the title more than us. We have been in the top flight longer than any other club. We were one of the 12 original clubs in England. Even with the slightest bit of success, we have historically drawn enormous crowds.

I wish we had owners who appreciate this. Too much lack of ambition at Everton and we know who has caused this.

Will Mabon
39 Posted 22/03/2018 at 17:40:01
I don't think it's all dour negativity by many, so much as the result of hard-bitten experience. There is zero romance where business is concerned and there will be an attempt to nail the required capacity to an accuracy of maybe within hundreds of what is believed needed – whether the finance or opportunity for higher capacity is present or not.

Tony @ 12 – clever, I like that idea for the capacity, nominally. I'd be highly surprised, though. Whilst we all wish for the room for as many of us as possible, the plans will be for the "right" amount. The capacity and stadium earnings will have a certain place in the business model, as dictated by what is perceived (known?) about the coming decades.

Lots to come yet, but as said by others, I wouldn't mind a bit of a sketch sometime soon...

David McMullen
40 Posted 22/03/2018 at 18:32:29
I wish we had clarity. What is the direction of the club? Is Moshiri still waiting to take control to drive us forward and Elstone is one of the changes? Or is the ambitious spending of Moshiri's time now being curtailed? On and off the pitch?

Buzz words used in the last couple of years through to the survey give you hope that this is a real ambitious project, even if the club doesn't have the best communication, especially during this season. But we're all cynical one way or another and the soundbites from the club from Elstone are for a less ambitious more cautious project. That's worrying.

I see Tottenham as the bench mark for this (might say on the pitch too). Their new White Hart Lane looks quality. While I'd have a slightly different design myself for Bramley-Moore Dock, it's more or less what we should be aiming for. As a club, everything. How did they become the big club we once were?

It's almost like a remodeling of the club with a managed decline, we've had years of it on the pitch. If the club is dampening our expectations and it doesn't aspire to be one of the "elite", it's going to be hard to persuade them to build a big stadium that makes a statement. Suddenly, fans are not after a 60,000 plus just happy to get 50,000. Hope I'm wrong.

Karl Parsons
41 Posted 22/03/2018 at 18:38:58
Paralysis through analysis. Nuf said.
John Smith
42 Posted 22/03/2018 at 18:53:38
Has to be 56,000, which I think is the minimum capacity allowed under FIFA rules to house a Champions League game. ;)
Kim Vivian
43 Posted 22/03/2018 at 19:06:22
Martin (#11).

If that happens and you effectively have two posts, or you have two different posts 'open' at the same time, I think you will find you can edit the first one, ie, delete it in this case.

Peter Thistle
44 Posted 22/03/2018 at 19:16:52
Sooooo sloooow...........

Will any of us still be alive to see the stadium built?

Kim Vivian
45 Posted 22/03/2018 at 19:18:33
How much does an empty seat cost? If we can reasonably expect say 50,000 each week but the capacity was 55,000, then there would be many who would be able to get to the odd match (myself included) who find it nigh-on impossible to get tickets. A season ticket is impractical for me nearly 250 miles away. I think most weeks there would be good take-up on a 'first-come, first-served' basis for these tickets. No fucking about with vouchers and stuff. Just sell tickets.

Besides the initial cost of the hypothetical extra seats, the marginal cost of unfilled seats is negligible surely, and there is future expansion potential of 10%.

Ray Roche
46 Posted 22/03/2018 at 19:21:08
Not wanting to piss on anyone's chips in any way but I've got some stats that I think might be of interest.

William Gall (#36) got me thinking, I was also at the Burnley game when there were 74,867 fans at Goodison in 1960 and I wondered how many times we have had over 70k in the ground. Apparently we have had 70k+ on 16 occasions and between 60k and 70k 30 times. So, in our history we have had more than 60k on 46 occasions – yet we have only averaged more than 50k once – in 1962-63.

The other times, the crowd appear to have turned up for a big game as opposed to regular attendees.

Andrew Clare
47 Posted 22/03/2018 at 19:36:23

You are talking about a time long ago. Since then, TV has catapulted the game to a huge global audience and ignited massive interest from the home-based public.

Now clubs are attracting big crowds, week-in & week-out. Just about every club that has moved to a new stadium has increased their attendances substantially. I have no doubt that we would fill a 60,000 stadium on a regular basis.

Martin Nicholls
48 Posted 22/03/2018 at 19:45:18
Lawrence (#25) – I think the survey was open to anyone with a customer number whether or not they were season ticket holder and/or member.

Kim (#43) – thanks. I'll check this out next time I have a problem. The edit facility used to be fairly obvious but no more – perhaps simply a problem with my tablet?

I can't think for one minute that the collective thoughts of individual fans will influence the Club in any way -– surely they'll simply look at capacity based on some sort of business model?

Finally, Spuds are incorporating a micro brewery in their stadium thus ensuring (like Brighton) decent beer available in ground. I'd definitely like us to do that!!

Ray Roche
49 Posted 22/03/2018 at 19:46:16
Andrew, I made no comment on the need for a 50k or 60k stadium, I merely thought that the stats were interesting.

I also think that comparisons with any London club is also a bit silly. West Ham are nowhere near the stature of Everton yet they are getting 55k every week. Why? Because of the London factor, just as most foreign players (or their wives) want to live there.

It would be interesting to see how many tourists turn up at some of these London games – we know that Anfield and Old Trafford have hordes of the buggers.

Lawrence Green
50 Posted 22/03/2018 at 19:57:22
Martin (#48), <>Thanks for the info – which begs the question as to whom are customer numbers allocated? Because if somebody who, for example, purchased a shirt once upon a time, has the same input as a regular season ticket holder, that doesn't seem right.

John Keating
51 Posted 22/03/2018 at 20:39:26
Lee (#8).

Don't know if you've ever been to Dortmund but that really is impressive.

We could have saved a fortune just going over there and giving them 50 quid for their plans...

Ron Sear
52 Posted 22/03/2018 at 21:06:08
I can't help wondering about the infrastructure surrounding the ground. Where are the cars, buses and coaches going to parked? Only one pub and no food anywhere near Bramley-Moore? New station on the Northern Line? There are massive limitations to the roads and area currently around the docks.

Not saying I don't want the ground – I certainly do – but somebody has got to come up with some serious improvement plans and funding for the dock area at the same time as the main stadium design is announced.

Don Alexander
53 Posted 22/03/2018 at 21:20:00
Well said, Ron (#52), that notion long since occurred to me too. Bramley-Moore Dock is very much amid a whole area of depressed, inadequate everything for any sort of reasonable match-day experience outside the new stadium, should it ever be built. That can change of course but only by way of serious public money playing a significant part, but is there any of that available these days?

Quite frankly the current environs of Bramley-Moore Dock make the County Road seem like Las Vegas, but I'm, err, sure a master-plan has long since been put together and fully costed by/with the club.

Brian Wilkinson
54 Posted 22/03/2018 at 21:26:50
Sorry if I appear to be coming across as cynical, but rather than build a West Ham Stadium, the club put it to supporters for feedback on the type and shape of the stadium, covered everything and fed back to supporters, from design, away support end, players tunnel.

We could just throw out a few drawings and say "Here you go, that is what your having, like it or lump it."

I would much prefer to wait an additional year or so, as long as we get it right, than not consult the supporters and just throw up any kind of stadium.

I am sure once he has had the planned hour meetings with the fans, the architect will then go away and draw up a design of what the supporters want.

The club are damned if they do and damned if they don't, just be a little patient and be thankful we have been consulted as fans, and not had any old stadium built.

Lawrence Green
55 Posted 22/03/2018 at 22:45:10
Dan Meis on his twitter account wrote the following:

If bigger was always better, and more seats ALWAYS meant more revenue, everyone would build 100k+. In reality there are several very complex factors that tune both the experience and the revenue just right...ie too many seats and the value of each drops precipitously

The question of capacity is less about other grounds than what is “right sized” for Everton?..on this site. Naturally there are constraints, both physical and financial. Capacity won’t be limited by lack of ambition, nor should it be driven by size envy...

Looking forward to first in-person fan engagement sessions in early April. Quite a heavy debate about capacity and no, it doesn’t mean that design isn’t progressing while engaging fans. Feedback is ongoing, feeds the process...

A guy named Tim, replying on Don's twitter account observes:

The Bramley Moore site is effectively limited to approximately 175x350m, the north side is longer but the limiting factor is the width I think the site will limit us to around 50k. Even that may be an architectural challenge. I can't find any modern large stadium designs which would fit on the site.

Limited space

Anthony Murphy
56 Posted 22/03/2018 at 23:02:29
I live in hope, but I do worry that rednose or Council opposition to Joe's finance plans may rumble on and we'll end up with a problem putting the financial package together.

As for capacity, 60k is the starting point surely. Anything less is a lack of ambition. In the current climate, we will fill that no problem.

David Barks
57 Posted 23/03/2018 at 01:22:26
So expectations for the number of seats are now being lessened.

I completely agree with John Keating, Dortmund was the type of thing I was hoping we would get. Phenomenal atmosphere with a massive number of seats, square, and close to the pitch.

This new push to get us to accept how great a 50,000-seater stadium would be is disappointing, but sadly seems to fit with the Everton mantra of the past few decades.

Andy King
58 Posted 23/03/2018 at 02:37:28
Looking around the area now it doesn't look great for a match day experience event. I believe there is a huge plan to redevelop the whole area though. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the 'ten streets' project somewhere between Bramley Moore and town?

Also Peel are investing millions into a deep water dock at Seaforth I think. Part of this agreement was Liverpool City Council improving the road networks that link it to the city and the motorways. It just so happens that our new ground would benefit enormously from this improved infrastructure.

Without a leaked drawing on the internet or a spade in the ground it's easy for us Evertonians to feel nervous. Strangely though I'm more confident of this project than any of our previous exploits.

As for the ground, the corners surely have to be filled in as the wind off the Mersey would be merciless. There will be a magic number for capacity that is based on a number of factors. I'd guess minimum number for hosting major events (finals) and expected match day attendees are the major drivers. Competitor envy will be lower down the list...

John G Davies
59 Posted 23/03/2018 at 06:01:41
Tricky one regarding the capacity. My own opinion is we would possibly have problems filling anything over 50,000. We could give heavily discounted tickets to children OAPs and unemployed if we wanted to go with higher attendance.

The Dortmund stadium is a fantastic match-going experience, with brilliant atmosphere. The majority of that atmosphere is created by a standing area of 25,000 fans. In the present climate, that would not be allowed for us.

Jimmy Salt
60 Posted 23/03/2018 at 06:48:35
I know we should be patient with regards to these things but, my god, have we been patient.
Gary Gibson
61 Posted 23/03/2018 at 06:57:40
60,000 is just a standard capacity for new Premier League stadiums these days. If it's anything less than that, then I'll be very disappointed. And I'm certain that we could fill a 60,000 stadium on a regular basis.

A new stadium always increases the average attendance dramatically. Man City went from struggling to fill Maine Road (which was smaller than Goodison) to suddenly filling a 48,000 stadium every week the season after. And during their first few years at their new stadium, Man City had a much worse football team than we have now. I remember them finishing as low as 16th on one occasion.

People are much more likely to buy a ticket if the facilities are great and there are no obstructed views.

Laurie Hartley
63 Posted 23/03/2018 at 08:47:04
Ron (#52) – they will be able to get a few thousand cars in the two storey underground car par under the sunken pitch. The buses can park in the pointy bit near the dock road.
Tom Hughes
64 Posted 23/03/2018 at 10:08:26
The "new stadium" effect is a well documented phenomenon but it is by no means universal.

Man City weren't struggling to fill Maine road they had to build a temporary corner section because they couldn't cope with demand and regularly filled it even in the 3rd tier. So there was a lot of latent support there. When The Etihad first opened, average attendances did increase significantly but it wasn't full every week, and in fact it dropped off again to below 40k within just a few years, until they found their winning ways on the pitch. The place is still now notorious for its empty seats (nicknamed The Empty-ad) and inflated attendances, despite their greatest team ever. Suffice to say they are growing their support with every success on the pitch, and those glaring light blue seats will be filled in the coming years with new supporters.

Stoke took several years to fill their new stadium. A small initial increase soon tailed off, and some quite significant infrastructure changes had to be made to help them eventually attract full or near full houses. It's taken 20 years and a sustained period in the Premier League for them to finally justify a small expansion at one corner. Their stadium cost just £14m to build.

On the otherhand, several clubs have enjoyed dramatic and sustained increases in average attendance. Before the Premier League West Ham had only ever averaged over 30k just 3 times in their whole history. Their record attendance was just 42k yet here they are now averaging over 50k. (I'm not sure that will last though). It has to be said though that this, as at Man City and Sunderland has been helped with cheaper ticket pricing strategies in turn afforded by a freeby or relatively cheap stadium move. That will not be the case for us. As a rule of thumb, construction cost can rise almost exponentially with capacity, and if a full seat will take 10 to 15 years to pay for itself how much longer will only occasionally filled seats?

The Emirates has had full houses since it opened, and importantly a corporate section that yields more than the whole of Highbury could yet it seemingly has affected their spending during its payback period, turning The Invincibles into the relative also-rans. How would a 75-90% full Bramely-Moore Dock, with higher build cost, and much lower ticket prices/total revenue affect our future spends?

How big is our latent support? Thinking beyond the initial novelty period, how many would renew season tickets if they knew that the large extra capacity would guarantee them a good seat every week regardless? Basic supply/demand says that the more you have the less you have to charge to sell them and the more you build the greater that cost per seat. The sweet spot is roughly where those two conflicting correlations meet with the added dependence on team-performance on the pitch.

Lots of variables and imponderables to juggle. Design can avert some of that, but there are limits and outside forces affecting that too. The site is a sensitive and tricky one in many ways with extra expense written all over it. The infrastructure and logistic issues are also a long way from being resolved, and the funding strategy turning into an epic. The Commonwealth Games will have come with extra funding and surrounding enabling developments too. This is no longer the case, and instead we're sitting on a site at the poor end of redevelopment scheme that has been hyped for over a decade, but for the most part has yet to get beyond the drawing board.

Meanwhile, as an aside, we could perhaps just expand our current footprint, expand/replace the Upper Bullens and/or the Upper Gwladys Street and/or extend the Park End to create the same capacity at a fraction of the cost, and all with far less unknowns. Is it time for that reality-check and to finally take off the Royal Blue Mersey blinkers? Or can football's continually economics-busting growth pull this all off, and not leave us skint?

Paul Richardson
65 Posted 23/03/2018 at 12:21:22
Has there been any mention (from Meis or the club) about safe standing area(s)? Perhaps that could be significant and bridge the capacity between 55,000 and 60,000-plus.
Alan McGuffog
66 Posted 23/03/2018 at 17:38:59
Sorry if I have missed something but is it a law that every game must be a sell-out. I have been in some big crowds since my debut in 1961 but the vast majority of games I have attended have not been full houses. Even when we were decent!
Ernie Baywood
67 Posted 23/03/2018 at 21:41:41
Anyone saying they're certain that we would fill a 60k seater stadium needs to have a quick review of the word "certain".

It's a gamble that we don't have data on. Do we have 20k turned away each week at present? And even then, it's not quite that simple.

Dan Meis's comments reflect someone who knows what he's talking about and his statements that the capacity shouldn't be driven by "size envy" or lack of ambition are right on the mark.

I'd be happy with a new stadium that has the kind of facilities that can bolster our revenues. That's the reason we're doing this, isn't it? You would fully expect it should be at least 50k with scope to increase if required.

Out of interest, how many of you have attended a 60k stadium with 40k inside it? I can tell you that it doesn't feel even half full – it's a strange phenomenon just how much 20k empty seats can drag the atmosphere down.

Alan, not law but surely business and football sense. Increased supply and lack of demand has an impact on prices and atmosphere.

James Marshall
68 Posted 25/03/2018 at 09:40:18
Spurs new ground looks like the way forward – 62,000 capacity with a single tier home end holding 17,000 for the so called 'wall of sound' effect.

It looks like a bowl from the outside, but is essentially a rectangle inside. Just copy that and we're good to go.

David McMullen
69 Posted 28/03/2018 at 11:24:22
The current poll on here, although still on-going, would concur with the club's survey almost, at 98% saying 50k or more. But break it down 89% want over 55k and 62/63% want over 60k or 61,878. It would be interesting to see the breakdown from the club.

Love that point, Alan (66). Elstone and Meis – are you reading?

Justin Doone
70 Posted 02/04/2018 at 02:34:25
I think there's a clue in the "fortress" wording. Build it big, imposing and square. I'm imagining a mock castle that will probably look more like a prison with Prince Rupert style towers located on each of the modern day ramp style exits found in most modern stadiums.

The actual pitch (because of the ground/earth it will be built on over the water I'm presuming) can't be sunk and therefore all the modern day drainage and heating will have to be above ground level. Seating, walkways etc will be physically higher up to accommodate that.

The available land is of squared shape and it makes sense to keep the stadium a similar shape to maximise room. This doesn't mean corners can't be rounded to be aesthetically pleasing.

I'm not a fan of bowled shaped arenas. Man City, West Ham, Sunderland to name a few have no atmosphere anymore.

The majority of stadium revenue will be from sponsors and corporate boxes. That's the whole point in relocating. I'm never sure if that's included in the capacity figures but I'd expect 45-50,000 seated plus corporate.

Goodison can struggle to get 32k+. I can't see the need for 60,000 unless that includes all corporate capacity of approx 10-15,000.

A half full 50,000+ stadium would be a disaster. The worst thing we could do so a new pricing strategy is needed. It's essential, new stadium or not, that we encourage the youth and the next generation before they are all lost to the Internet and streaming games forever.

The same goes for students and the elderly to keep it Everton, revive the atmosphere (all new stadiums struggle for a while) and interest as part of a weekly habit, not a one-off show.

Too many clubs have empty stadiums. Do something about it. Free for under-8s (max 3 per adult). Heavily discounted for loyal season ticket holders, away travellers. We all know this makes sense so why don't the businessmen in charge?

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