More fan engagement required above and beyond stage 2 of the public consultation

It is my belief that the more information is shared, the greater the level of understanding and “buy-in” into what is being proposed from all parties.

Paul The Esk 10/05/2019 56comments  |  Jump to last
Share:
Stage 2 of public consultation re Bramley Moore and Goodison Legacy Project

On 9th May, Everton Football Club announced plans for the second stage of the public consultation regarding the Bramley Moore Stadium and the Goodison Legacy Project. In line with the previously advised timetable the dates are 26th July through to 25th August 2019. The consultation will continue to be branded under the “People’s Project” title and will visit a range of locations.

The press release issued by the club gives good indications of their current thinking and what they believe are the key considerations in the run up to the planning process. To be fair the issues that the club feel need addressing are not always going to be consistent with those major issues that fans fell need addressing (more on that later).

Heritage

Whilst overall the Liverpool Waters project remains a problematic issue for UNESCO and World Heritage Status for the City, the proposed stadium development is being handled sensitively and will objectively enhance the future heritage status of the northern docks.

The consultation process should clarify that the club are addressing the key heritage issues and that the design work relating to the stadium and its surrounding environment is consistent with both maintaining and enhancing the historical nature of the site. Enhancement is critical and a key component to many other successful heritage sites around the world. An important element other than design will be the re-attachment of this area to the City and more importantly the people of the City. What good is heritage if it is locked away from those that own it and wish to enjoy it?

The public consultation process

It is evident that the club are being as thorough as they possibly can be regarding the formal public consultation (as against fan consultation, more on that later).

The consultation will include the latest design concepts plus views on transport, accessibility and environmental sustainability. Whilst it remains a part of the formal process leading to the planning application it does provide all Evertonians with the opportunity to express views in person or by other means. It is essential (to the benefit of the fan base) that as many fans make use of this process not only to support the application but to inform the club and influence decisions over matters of concern. What is offered and is shown visually (for the first time) does remain conceptual. As such opinion ought to be passed during the consultation.

Whilst the club is duty bound to address an audience wider than just supporters, we are talking about what is going to be our home for the next 100 years so the opportunity to provide opinion from the perspective of being an Evertonian should not be missed in my view.

Equally for the residents of L4 the opportunity to shape the Goodison Legacy is very apparent.

Further consultation with fans:

Separate to the formal public consultation the club is planning to engage further with those that took part with the St Luke’s workshops attended by Dan Meis in the Spring of 2018.

Topics to be included are “match day experience, fan zone, food and beverage offering, transport, accessibility and environmental sustainability.”

That’s all well and good and those topics certainly need addressing. However, in my opinion it fails to address much more important issues which remain either not consulted upon or inconclusive in the eyes of many fans.

Those issues include:

  • Capacity
  • Pricing
  • Rail seating (safe standing)
  • Funding & the business model

To me, and many others (although not all) these are fundamental issues where there has been little or no consultation of any substance, yet they remain the very key to the success of the stadium development.

The argument for a larger capacity to 60,000 is well documented particularly on this site, but the club’s logic in going for a smaller capacity of 52,000 is not. Surely a proper consultation process would provide supporting evidence as the justification for such a decision?

I am aware the club engaged professional consultants to offer their considered views on likely demand and therefore capacity. However, I’m yet to meet or hear from an Evertonian who was asked questions such as “how likely are you to buy hospitality/season tickets/tickets for Bramley-Moore?” and questions relating to pricing points/availability of walk up tickets etc which surely have a huge impact on demand?

The proposed capacity not only means that not all current Evertonians will be able to attend matches, it means our opportunity to grow our match-going fan base and the associated commercial benefits are restricted, and likely to be restricted for many years.

It also flies in the face of the club’s proud commitment to “affordability”. I have consulted privately, at my own expense, with industry experts who confirm my assertion that the combination of the proposed capacity and a funding model which relies significantly on debt is not sustainable without significant increases in ticket prices.

One of the most surprising aspects of Spurs’ new stadium is how little comment there has been on the price increases between the old White Hart Lane stadium and the new? There has been an effective gentrification of their fan base. That would not be consistent with the objectives and principles associated with Everton & Bramley-Moore stadium. If that’s not to happen how do we square a smaller capacity, a predominantly debt funded stadium and affordability with the requirement to generate more income?

The completion of the funding has yet to be announced. I hope by the time of the consultation process we have greater clarity.

We have the notion that the capacity can be increased to a maximum of 62,000 at some unspecified date in the future, albeit we have previously been advised “it is not possible to say if and when” . How is that to be achieved? Through extending the stadium or future higher spectator densities arising from safe standing? Previous advice has been that extending the stadium is not possible and informed advice from the safety authorities is that increasing capacity through the means of safe standing is “perhaps at least a decade away” given we still don’t have safe standing in the Premier League or UEFA competitions.

In the two and a half months remaining until the consultation opens I’d implore the club to make the consultation as wide ranging as possible and include the topics discussed above. The club and fans have a common objective to make Bramley-Moore the very best it can be. That might not be the case if we miss opportunities now.

On social media I have people suggesting we are not entitled to the levels of information I request. I understand the commercial sensitivities in that not everything can be in the public domain but it is my belief that the more information is shared, the greater the level of understanding and “buy-in” into what is being proposed from all parties. Just as the club has adopted a cautious approach to this stadium development given past experiences, fans too have perhaps a higher need for explanation than might normally be the case.

Follow @theesk


Reader Comments (56)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer


Don Alexander
1 Posted 10/05/2019 at 02:16:39
Paul, great article, again, and it exemplifies what I know are my worries about the machinations of a boardroom still containing Kenwright. The fact of the matter for Mr M is that he's bought not only a club with an eminent history. He's also bought the very dodgy looking financial legacy created by Kenwright and Green and whomever else Kenwright admires (he calls the totally unscrupulous Green "The Mozart of Money" after all - and I hope that in an afterlife Wolfgang Amadeus sues the fuck out of Kenwright as a consequence). He's also bought the legacy of promises re King's Dock, Kirkby, Croxteth and wherever else the self-proclaimed Greatest Ever Evertonian has spouted as a viable site for a so-called state-of-the-art new stadium and, three years into his investment, we're still being fed only the "it'll be alright on the night" pap Kenwright and Elstone initiated, now via Moshiri's "new" board.

I wonder if Mr Mosh wants to utilise the hard won influence he's achieved with Britain's worst sports journalist, the screechingly vain Jim White of Talkshite, to personally tell us and the world what the actual timetable is for his/our ambition to regularly achieve top four through the benefits of his/our new BMD stadium?

And yes, I know "The People's Project" site seemingly has such plans, but who wrote them, and when?

Please!

David Ellis
2 Posted 10/05/2019 at 02:51:26
Totally off topic but may I say RIP Freddie Starr who I believe was a blue.
Andrew Presly
3 Posted 10/05/2019 at 04:27:25
The whole project is a turn off for me if it’s 52k

We’ve won as many league titles as Spurs & Man C combined so I’d like to see that dominance continue.

Make it happen Powers That Be or step aside. We tried the small minded routine 1987 - 2019 it didn’t work.

Joe Corgan
4 Posted 10/05/2019 at 05:16:19
I’ll trust the club on the issue of capacity as they have the most information available to them.

Not only are there extra direct costs involved in increasing the capacity further but also other considerations such as parking, public transport and policing.

We have maintained crowds close to our current capacity this season, at around 39,500. An increase to 52,000 represents an additional third of capacity. Personally I’d take a steep-sided, 52,000 capacity, sold-out stadium over a 60,000 seater which we’re only likely to occasionally sell out for some time yet.

We allocate 3,000 tickets to away supporters for Premier League games, so to fill a 52,000 seater we would have to either increase that number or find 16,000 extra Evertonians every week. That would be no small feat. To fill a 60,000 seater would require 24,000 extra Evertonians attending! This is, of course, assuming that the objective is to fill the ground on a regular basis.

As much as I would like us to get the same level of home support as Arsenal, United and Tottenham I don’t feel that we should use the “my dad’s bigger than your dad” argument by insisting on a larger capacity just because they have one.

For 2017/18, Man City’s average attendance was reported by them as being around 53,000 yet Greater Manchester Police put the figure closer to 45,000. The same is true of West Ham, with an average official attendance of 55,000 but only 43,000 according to police figures. Bear in mind that both of these clubs moved into oversized, ready-made stadia and give away an awful lot of tickets just to fill the places up. These are not small clubs and given City’s recent successes, they should expect to be maximising their potential attendances. Despite these figures, many Evertonians believe 52,000 is too small and want to hit the “magic” 60,000 number. For me, that just doesn’t add up.

David Pearl
5 Posted 10/05/2019 at 05:44:07
David, sorry to heat that. He had some iconic TV moments didnt he.

Well written article. The usual digs about kenwright but I think he is the reason the fanbase are being asked to be so involved. We are ooking at about 20% increased attendance? I think my main issue would be to ensure that while this new home is being built we still have funding for players so that its hosting European nights. This could and should put us right back up there as one of the premier clubs. This has been a long time coming l know. Eitc continues to show who we are. Watch this space... finally.

Danny Broderick
6 Posted 10/05/2019 at 05:53:32
Every time we sell out a 52,000 stadium will be a missed opportunity. All of the top 6, plus the likes of Newcastle, would easily sell over 5,000 tickets alone if we gave them that many in a new stadium. We would also have an upswing in attendance.

Set the bar high and go for 60,000. If we don’t do it now, we never will.

Bobby Mallon
7 Posted 10/05/2019 at 06:31:08
We would easily fill a 60000 seat stadium. I believe it’s about the council saying you can’t
Bobby Mallon
8 Posted 10/05/2019 at 06:32:08
Have a capacity bigger than the other lot
Brian Williams
9 Posted 10/05/2019 at 09:49:56
Should the "supporters" be consulted on everything?
Funding and the business model for instance. Is that "really" anything to do with us?
Really? It may be of interest but the club, as a business, has no responsibility (in my eyes) to reveal those things.
It has no responsibility to reveal lots of other stuff either.
With regard to the capacity I'm sure they'll have carried out studies and/or had experts look into it. The club's not going to purposely miss out on an extra 8k attendees if it can help it.
I think some people are getting a bit carried away with how much input they think they're entitled to IMHO.
Thomas Lennon
10 Posted 10/05/2019 at 10:25:16
52 000 is an increase of 12 000, which is a 30% increase on 40 000 GP. A further 10 000 are reportedly restricted views so arguably we are adding 22 000 top class seats which is a 55% increase on GP or a doubling of 'effective size'.

I imagine that the ideal capacity is one where you receive the greatest income for the least outgoings. The brutal truth is that on Merseyside the amount of disposable income is much lower than elsewhere - maybe Brexit will change that over time if the port prospers but that is unknown as yet. There is a reason why Liverpool supporters who regularly go to the match tend to live elsewhere.

The club must make a decision based on knowns so best current guess is 60 000 will impact on the first team and cost more than it makes, 52 000 will not. I would argue the opposite to Paul - paradoxically 52 000 keeps seat prices down. Pauls economic advisers seem to think that higher seat prices are achievable, the club has a stated intent to keep them as low as possible.

Anthony Murphy
11 Posted 10/05/2019 at 10:53:49
The 52k capacity is what we will get. Not because of a lack of ambition, financial constraints or estimated uptake, but because of UNESCO and site footprint. That is why it has been reduced in height from original, early designs and that is why any increase in capacity will happen (if ever) without physically extending the stadium.
Tom Hughes
12 Posted 10/05/2019 at 12:00:30
Anthony#11,
If that's the case, how did the site ever pass the first test of suitability?
Have we committed to a site that cannot ever meet our fundamental needs?
Steve Carse
13 Posted 10/05/2019 at 12:39:26
Steve Carse
14 Posted 10/05/2019 at 12:39:26
We wouldn't fill a 52,000 stadium?! -- Christ, many posting here and elsewhere really have swallowed the 'plucky Everton' message and are happy with it.

Instead try swallowing this:
- we've won sod all for coming on 25 years, yet..
- we've sold out GP for 3 seasons
- a stadium with almost a quarter of seats offering only restricted views
- we've averaged virtually 40,000 in PL games over this period and obviously with a bigger capacity would have averaged something a few thousand higher
- BMD as currently planned, would be adding only 12000 more seats. Of these perhaps 1,500-2000 would be in additional 'corporate' areas. So the increase in available tickets for the majority of fans would be only 10,000
- new PL, and indeed EFL, stadia have never failed to create higher attendances, in many instances by factors of around 25%, and irrespective of whether previous grounds were being filled eg Leicester City...
- applying this percentage to Everton woud suggest a 'new stadium bounce' taking attendances up to the planned BMD capacity . in other words, with no further potential to accommodate further demand should (heaven forbid) we actually get some overdue success on the pitch.

The only thing that would point to 52,000 as a maximum would be the physical feasibility of getting even that many onto and out of a small site, and with only one road for vehicular traffic dispersal. How that whole matter is going to be managed has yet to be seriously discussed in public.

Martin Nicholls
15 Posted 10/05/2019 at 13:18:11
Steve#14 - spot on. All I can add is that a percentage of the net 10,000 increase you reference would go to away fans thus leaving an even smaller number for "new" (ie new to regular match attendance) Evertonians - we should also not overlook the point made by Danny#6, that being that there are at least 7 visiting PL clubs that would sell more than the "minimum" allocation (5%?) that we are obliged to make available to them. Not ideal to increase away support I know, but from a business perspective, a no brainer - assuming we achieve the success that we all crave, these seats could then be "clawed back" for more of the "new" Evertonians referred to earlier.
Stan Schofield
16 Posted 10/05/2019 at 13:34:35
When we were a top club, like in the 60s, Goodison was one of the finest and biggest capacity grounds in the country, in comparison to which many other grounds (including Anfield) were like overblown sardine cans. All of Brazil's games in the '66 World Cup were at Goodison.

If we really wish to be back at the top, having one of the best stadia undoubtedly helps with our image, in this day and age the 'brand'.

It's possible that a maximum capacity of 52,000 won't have much of an effect on our image compared with having a bigger capacity, and that the location, style and atmosphere will have the biggest impact, subject of course to our being an impressive team on the pitch. Without the latter, a new stadium is almost irrelevant. But it's difficult not to imagine that we actually need the biggest stadium possible (subject to site constraints) if we're truly to be a top club.

You would expect the regime at Everton to have thought about all of this, and to be serious in addressing such points. I suppose the consultation process is, apart from being necessary formally, an opportunity to make sure all such points are addressed.

Bill Watson
23 Posted 10/05/2019 at 15:49:05
Steve; spot on and what I've argued on other threads and Lyndon's current Consultation one.

I agree with Paul that limiting the capacity to an alnost certainly sold out 52,000 gives the club great scope for hiking prices. Thomas's logic that a sell out crowd of 52,000 would keep prices down flies in the face of one of the main principles of capitalism which is that if demand exceeds supply you control it by increasing the price.

Who are these 'expert professional consultants' whose advice led to the figure of 52,000? I think the club should tell us. Even a lay person can see that this is a very conservative figure. (Joe # 4. Have another look at your maths!!)

Apart from the 'profesional consultants', whoever they were, the club have also stated that this figure was arrived at after extensive consultation with fans, Really? I've had a season ticket for decades and I wasn't consulted and I don't know anyone who was, including many match going shareholders.

If the initial build is for 52,000 I very much doubt it will ever be increased, other than the installation of safe standing provision.

Jip Foster
28 Posted 10/05/2019 at 15:57:30
The 52,000 capacity will be because of cost of infrastructure around the stadium, not the cost of an extra 8,000 seats. The club would have worked out how many people the roads / buses / trains can take and how much they can afford to put in to improve it. Any more people may trigger a big expansion of something, eg a new train platform that would be disproportionate to the benefit / cost of extra seats.
Don’t forget the big picture - it’s not just cost of seats that goes into a development of this nature.
Tony Everan
29 Posted 10/05/2019 at 16:14:21
Thank you Paul for this interesting article.

At 52k it probably has the best chance of getting through the first stages of planning. That figure could be being used to oil the wheels.

Once that initial planning permission is sealed, evidence could be submitted that shows 4 or 5 thousand more seats are easily achievable with minimal impact on infrastructure concerns.

M. Vee
30 Posted 10/05/2019 at 16:58:50
If the powers that be stick to 52,000 capacity, expect a significant price hike in Season Tickets. Paul the Esk is simply giving fans fair warning. If you believe they won't...well good luck with that.

£500m stadium debt is one hell of millstone for 12.500 extra seats.

Anthony Murphy
31 Posted 10/05/2019 at 17:10:42
Tom#12, not sure from your post if you agree with me or not, but from the images and information leaked a few months back it seemed to me that 52k was the absolute maximum they could squeeze into the space provided. I haven’t got it in front of me, but recall space between most seats being limited. Add to this the lack of executive seating and it makes me think that we have had to compromise on scale because of world heritage concerns. The space around the stadium looked limited to me, but hard to tell. As something of a stadium expert, I’d be interested to hear your opinion on how you feel the capacity was reached?
Paul [The Esk]
32 Posted 10/05/2019 at 17:24:29
Thanks for all your comments, always interesting to read other people's opinions especially those that are different to your own.

For me regarding capacity, I find it difficult to accept that you can judge demand unless you go out and test the market. Although the club tell me this has been done I'm yet to come across an Evertonian who has been asked about the likelihood of them buying tickets at BM, what type of tickets and at what price point?

The club used a company based in London IPW to help determine capacity. The figure they came up with was less than 52k. I have tried to establish their methodology but to no avail.

The reason capacity is important is fairly obvious. It will directly affect ticket prices & I have no doubt at 52k will fall far short of actual demand once the stadium is built.

The other reason of course is financing. Even using the most positive assumptions re cost of debt and revenues generated at the stadium it's difficult to see a significant increase in net revenue whilst retaining any semblance of "affordability"

To those that say we are not entitled to such information, with respect I think we are. The club is both a community and for many familial asset which whilst ownership may change from time to time remains ours - emotionally if not in the legal sense. Thus we have a duty of care to ensure that our children & grandchildren enjoy the club at it's best in the future.

As ever thanks for reading my stuff.

Steve Carse
33 Posted 10/05/2019 at 18:25:06
Steve Carse
34 Posted 10/05/2019 at 18:25:06
Jip (28), no doubt the limited existing infrastructure will be a factor to consider -- in which case why the hell was the BMD site selected?
Karl Masters
35 Posted 10/05/2019 at 19:24:08
Great article again. Common sense speaking.
Karl Masters
36 Posted 10/05/2019 at 19:27:21
I can see another missed opportunity on the horizon if we have a 52,000 capacity.

It’s incredible really how Everton have managed to mess things up time and again off the pitch for most of the last 50

Karl Masters
37 Posted 10/05/2019 at 19:29:50
years.
Martin Mason
38 Posted 10/05/2019 at 19:37:29
Don@1, considering that you don't have a clue about the workings of Everton, Moshiri and Kenwright or anything that they have ever done, it's very strange to see you spouting such unsubstantiated nonsense as fact.
Joe McMahon
39 Posted 10/05/2019 at 19:58:21
Steve Carse - spot on! We already fill the antiquated Goodison Park that has facilities from the 1960's. I could see us filling a much larger capacity than 52,000.
Frank Wade
40 Posted 10/05/2019 at 20:29:05
Thanks Paul,
I would disagree that Everton fans should have access to sensitive financial and commercial information and am appreciative of the way the BMD project is being handled by the club.

Can I toss in my recent experiences into the debate ? Over the past 25 years I have travelled over once or twice a year from Dublin, with my now adult son and daughter. In recent years, we can't get the Park End anymore, so have to make do with restricted view.

Last Friday, we were at the Burnley game in the Upper Gwladys. This was the most restrictive view I have ever experienced at any game anywhere, even at Goodison. We were 3 rows from the back and as everyone in front of us were standing throughout, we also had to stand. Any kick outs by goalkeepers or high clearances weren't visible due to the roof. The tall chap in front of me meant I had to duck and dive to get any view. To my left there was a man with two boys aged around 9 to 11 and they were worse off. The fans in the Upper Gwladys certainly don't have any consideration for the elderly or young fans who are vertically challenged. No stewards visible for a moan either.

The atmosphere was great and the Seamus Coleman goal was a great experience, greeted as it was by plenty of loud singing of the 60 grand song, although my immediate instinct was to check for a linesman's flag, which I couldn't see. I didn't see much of the first goal. I certainly would be more encouraged to go to more games if I could see the match. When you add in the cost of the Everton Membership, to allow me access to purchase the restrictive view tickets, plus Flights and Hotel for the 3 of us, we spend as much as the cost of a season ticket each in two trips over.

If we can fill the ground at present, when this is the offering, an extra 12,000 seats will be easily filled.

Don #1, If only Everton were as consistent as yourself.

Dave Abrahams
41 Posted 10/05/2019 at 21:02:51
Frank (40), I’m sorry you, daughter and son had the misfortune to sit in the Upper Gwladys Street Stand at the Burnley game, done it once, never again.

I appreciate coming from Dublin you would have to get tickets, for the game, before coming to guarantee seeing the match, but in games like this, when it was on TV, I could almost guarantee there would be tickets available outside the ground, there were seats empty by me in The Upper Bullens and you could see seats empty
here and there in different stands.

If it is true, as I think it is, that fans only get a very small reduction for these restricted seats then it should be looked at by the club as they are definitely not value for money, far from it.

Next time you are coming, if I were you I’d write to Kenwright tell him when you are intending to come, explain the problems you have had in the past, there’s a good chance he would try and assist you, he gets a bad name on here, rightly so in my opinion, but you would have a decent chance of getting much better seats off him, and it would only cost you the price of a postage stamp to find out. Once again good fans like yourself from afar should be well looked after and I’m sorry you
had to watch the game the way you and your family did.

Paul Birmingham
42 Posted 10/05/2019 at 21:26:41
It’s a very interesting debate. My ma8, whose a Spurs fan, has told me that to ensure maximum match day revenue generation within the new ground its open for food and beverages from 11.00 a.m. and up to 3 hrs after a game has finished.

The noteable is that Levy also sanctioned for the beers to be cheaper than the surrounding pubs at White Hart Lane.

So he’s taking out the traditional long standing match day fixtures for some supporters, but people will want to save their money in the increasingly hard fiscal times for the average people in the UK.

It will be interesting to see the final figures on the BMD capacity, but I don’t see any means how the stadium capacity could be boosted once the footprint is built.

It is vital the club gets this right, but as in life as Evertonians, we know there’s always trouble looming ahead.

It will be interesting to see the outputs from the next public consultation, and what the final design is.

But GP as much as we love the place, needs to be remembered and it will be, but perhaps, there’s a twist in the story that will unfold later this year.

Rob Halligan
43 Posted 10/05/2019 at 21:31:01
Dave, # 41, I sit in the upper gwladys street and have got a great view, albeit my seat in on row B right behind the goal. I have also been in the upper Bullens, near the back, and had a lousy view, as, I guess, the back of the upper Bullens is pretty much the same as the upper gwladys with regards to pillars being in the way etc.
Mike Galley
44 Posted 10/05/2019 at 21:43:07
Paul#42
Interesting that you should mention that. last week, Martin Samuels in the Mail said that since Spurs opened their new ground they get about £800,000 a game in income. I think he was talking about food and drink sales where as City get about £150,000.
If these figures are right, I hope our board are taking note.
Mike Galley
45 Posted 10/05/2019 at 21:52:05
Further to my earlier post, here's the comment made

Tottenham are believed to be making £800,000 from hospitality, food and drink at their new stadium — and that's just before kick-off. By way of comparison, on a good day, takings at Manchester City are in the region of £150,000. In time, this will tell.

Hopefully, it gives our board food for thought. Excuse the pun.

Dave Abrahams
46 Posted 10/05/2019 at 22:03:09
Rob (43), yes I had a good view in Gwladys Street for a couple of seasons, but I was referring to the restricted seats in that stand.I got moved from The Upper Bullens to Gwladys St. for the Chelsea cup match ( when Lukaku scored two), it was an absolute disgrace, not just pillars in the way, but the roof slanting down causing more obstruction when we had to stand up.

My seat in The Upper Bullens is very good now, I moved from the next to back row three years ago, had no problem, moved to my present seat because it was right by an entrance, making it easier for me.

No doubt there are poor seats in the Upper Bullens, I’ve sat all over in there but never found ones like Frank Wade and myself had to put up within The Upper Gwladys St, there are some in the Lower Bullens that I wouldn’t give to my worst enemy.

Thomas Lennon
47 Posted 10/05/2019 at 22:05:48
Bill #23 You only get to charge more money when supply is limited if the source of that money isn't limited. The club has stated that they want to keep prices down, the working class fan wants to keep prices down but if we build another 10 000 seats and it costs another £50 million of debt (exaggerating to make the point) we will need to charge £500 per seat per year (£25 per match) just to meet the interest.
There is a sweet spot that combines capacity and affordability. The club has been collecting customer data for years and has a fair idea what is affordable to it's current customer base - what that might rise to over time if we are successful is worth mulling over and may justify adding to the capacity in time.

We can either limit capacity and prices or go for a price increase now and 60k capacity. We can't have it both ways.

Frank Wade
48 Posted 10/05/2019 at 23:40:17
Dave, Rob, The funny bit was I chose the seats carefully to avoid having a goal obscured by a pillar, but didn't realise I would be too far back in Row OO to see, when everyone in front is standing. I couldn't sit at half time either as I was interested to see if Speedo Mick would score a volley off the trampoline. I have been in the Upper Gwladys several times before but able to sit as Rob does in Row B, even though we were quite far back, but over in the Bullens corner. In the old days, if there was a difficulty, we could move to a different part of the terrace. I have been to oceans of games but felt sorry for the two young boys next to me, one who was trying to stand on a seat, propped up by his Dad.

Dave, I am quite sure Bill Kenwright would oblige as you say and we share a mutual friend, but it's not something I would want to do on a regular basis. I have to move quickly, buy the tickets as soon as the seats are released to the members, buy the plane tickets and book the hotel. Flight from Dublin to Liverpool was €230 on Friday afternoon, so had to go to Manchester for €71. I wouldn't leave it to chance with Bill or getting a ticket outside. It's different when you haven't invested so much in getting there, including half days from work - not for me anymore of course. We need certainty.

I'll go for the Upper Bullens in future, we were last there at the Watford home game in April 17 - Barkley 1-0. Struck up a great conversation with a lovely woman and her daughter, locals from Kirkdale. She had been married in St Lukes church back in the day. I love meeting and chatting to staunch Evertonians who support the team so well. Part of the Fantastic Goodison experience. Might even get to meet the famous Abrahams family - real ToffeeWeb Royalty.

In the old Lansdowne Road there were similar pillars in the stands. At one match I heard a fan shout 'get out from behind the pole' - the matchday experience eh ?

Bill Watson
49 Posted 10/05/2019 at 00:14:11
Thomas # 47

I don't quite understand your last paragraph. Raise prices and go for 60,000?

One of the laws of supply and demand is that you limit demand by raising the price. The fact we sell out every PL game and have a growing season ticket waiting list would suggest the price is set too low.

The club appear to be going for 52,000 in the knowledge that will sell out with some to spare. To control demand and waiting lists and to repay the construction debt the admission price will have to go up. Easier to do with a lower capacity!

I'd agree with Paul the Esk when he says 52,000 would result in price increases; it must do.

Mark Andersson
50 Posted 11/05/2019 at 00:53:55
Debate all you want the people who run the club will do what they want not what you want...

Meanwhile the RS go marching on and future scousers will be more inclined to support a winning team no matter how wonderful a new stadium looks on the banks of the Mersey..

Jerome Shields
51 Posted 11/05/2019 at 06:15:26
If Everton do get a new stadium , it is going to be a bog standard new stadium like Swansea City. You might get a statue of Johnny Scott looking out to sea. All the jollying around with leaked plans and Everton consultations trying to get by are just a dance around to find out the money available.

Moshiri is right to keep the finances unknown, because the Everton's Senior Management have not got the expertise to implement a Stadium project and will eat up any money available and a overcost will be inevitable and a cock up. We have all been involved in this dance before and ended up on the floor with no money available. The clarity that Paul wants is not going to be available any time soon. There will be meetings upon meetings , headlines upon headlines , consultations upon consultations and hard hat upon hard hat. Yellow ones like Jim White's tie. Correction; Denise the marketing genius will think of blue ones.

A good analogy is a High Court case regarding property between two parties. There will be negotiation, talk, anxiety, bastards, and a lot of sitting about on cold benches. At the end of the day the result will be :

Settlement plus Legal cost equals money available.

In other words a dance to find the money available. So what you do is to reduce the money available and hopefully you are still standing at the end of it, with a clean suit.

Capacity, Ticket Prices and Fans will be a secondary consideration.

Martin Mason
52 Posted 11/05/2019 at 09:12:55
The need for 52000 seats is based on something that may never happen which is a significant change in the club's fortunes based on us being a 40000 club now. As a business the club has to select a figure which the actual gates will approach or exceed and, as well stated above, the infrastructure around the ground is the key thing. Going to Goodison by car is easy because there is plenty of parking space within walking distance. I'm not sure about around the docks. Wonder if I could berth my boat there?
Dave Abrahams
53 Posted 11/05/2019 at 09:23:16
Frank (48), thanks for your reply, I understand the problems you have organising the trip to see Everton at Goodison, the shout to Kenwright was one that might have helped you, so understand your reply.

I think it is great that fans like yourself make the effort to see The Blues from distant places, I would love to have a drink or two with you next time you come to Liverpool, couldn’t make for the Saturday after the Burnley game.

Good luck and good health for the future to you and your family.

Tom Hughes
54 Posted 11/05/2019 at 10:07:29
Anthony #31,
I'm neither agreeing nor disagreeing. I don't really know enough about the site or its issues, apart from the obvious.

I was merely asking the question that if the site has such limiting factors, be it planning, heritage, spacial or cost or any combination thereoff, how did it ever pass that first test of suitability?

At first glance, reading between the lines, it would appear to have potentially all of these issues, and therefore I'm not sure how it ever got past "go" in the first place. I mean, how many problems do you want to overcome, at what expense, and why?The initial attraction may have been the prestigious waterfront location, Liverpool Waters developers, LCC prompts, commonwealth games funding, Other property/commercial enablers? Who knows? However, as with Kirkby or WHP it does seem a little bit like a spark of an idea, with a modicum of backing from a third party, and we instantly throw all our eggs into that basket, and proceed to make the problem fit the new chosen solution.

Perhaps the first consultation should've posed the question: would you prefer a 52k seater stadium "on the banks of the royal blue mersey" for £500m plus legacy development at GP, or to turn GP into 52-60k stadium for less than 1/2 of that (probably much less than that), with built in legacy, on the site of the world's first purpose-built football stadium?

There are many reasons why most of the bigger clubs chose to redevelop over relocation, and why the likes of Juventus opted for such a low capacity in their new-build. Of course, if there is a Mr Moneybags backer lurking, and we are no longer subject to those economic constraints, then perhaps we needn't worry too much about debt, or be overly concerned about our lost heritage. Not sure that 52k (with few apparent frills), and consultations on accessibility/transport (3 yrs in) represents a convincing argument for sound process and high ambition thus far.

Bill Watson
55 Posted 11/05/2019 at 22:09:23
Tom; at the time I seem to recall that Juventus reckoned the future would be armchair supporters paying TV subs rather than match going fans and, therefore, a small ground would suffice.

It's similar thinking to the Football League who, at one time, were anti TV because they thought it would stop fans actually going to games.

Of course, what's actually happened is the exact opposite and there appears to be an insatiable appetite for football. Juventus has had to extend its ground and at a much greater cost than it would have been, originally.

Another reason Everton is selling itself short by aiming for a comparitively low capacity at B-M

Frank Wade
56 Posted 12/05/2019 at 00:45:02
Thanks Dave. Hope to be over in the autumn and will meet up for sure.
Matt Traynor
57 Posted 12/05/2019 at 10:51:40
Bill #55, the Stadio delle Alpi was controversial because of location and poor sightlines due to the presence of an athletics track. It was also shared between the two Turin clubs. In fact it was demolished in 2009, only 19 years after opening. Although it had a capacity of over 67k Juve's average attendance were around 41-42k, but fell to around 26k near the end.

Because there was no warm up track for athletics, the stadium never actually held an athletics meet.

The new stadium is 41.5k, with a retractable roof (the old stadium was open to the elements and the location fans were regularly soaked). It has a museum, shopping mall with restaurants and bars. When it was completed it meant Juve were the only Serie A team at that time who owned their own stadium, with most being municipally-owned.

Tom Hughes
58 Posted 12/05/2019 at 10:53:20
Bill #55,
Don't get me wrong, I'm not really advocating the Juventus approach as the way forward. It is merely one end of the spectrum for comparison. I'm just trying show that it's a bit of a juggling act for bigger clubs when trying to solve the cost/capacity versus supply/demand conundrum.

Construction-cost per seat can rise dramatically while return/value per seat can diminish with capacity. Any excess capacity is a potential real drain, sending return on investment estimates right out of the window. So a lot will depend on the ownership, their aspirations and ambitions for the club, and where they see themselves in terms of their investment and timescales.

Juventus merely aired on the side of caution with their estimates, while creating something they didn't have already, a proper football stadium. Remember, they could've easily spared all the expense, stayed at the relatively modern, but large Stadio Delle Alpi, and simply stacked them high and sold them cheap like West Ham/ City do now (and still don't fill their seats). However, their gates fluctuated massively at the cavernous athletics stadium, and the atmosphere was poor, especially at lower profile games. By the early 2,000's their attendances and season ticket sales had plummeted. So, despite the fact that historically they had averaged well over 40k many times in the fairly recent past, they weighed up the cost of 40k+ versus 50k+ capacity, and plumped for the lower option. Saving a disproportionate amount on construction cost, increasing value
per seat by controlling supply, virtually guaranteeing full occupancy via new stadium effect, improved facilities, and knowing that the fanbase was comfortably big enough.

LFC have also adopted this approach in some ways, but with the added security of being able to add incrementally to existing structures. They have a far bigger fanbase and waiting list than us, yet look at the caution with which they've pondered any increases. Look how tight their ROI criteria is. No expansion is given the go ahead until the demand is tested and that return is guaranteed.

Conversely, we have only really achieved sustained full houses relatively recently (at rock bottom prices), and even if you add our apparent waiting list to current season ticket sales plus away allocation and new corporate capacity, we are only a few thousand above our current capacity.

So a lot will depend on the real size and spending power of our fanbase, the size and wealth of the corporate demand in this city and at this location, and if/when the investors/owners want to see a return.

Unlike redevelopment, for a new build every seat has to pay its way, which is largely why I still harp on about the redevelopment option and its conspicuous absence, despite the obvious potential for it to shift those cost curves to give a better short, medium and long term alignment in terms of cost/capacity. Again, it will depend on where our owner's approach lies on that spectrum: highly speculative like City to ultra conservative like LFC. The owners ambitions need not necessarily be the same as ours, as we are here for life. They might not be.

Derek Thomas
59 Posted 12/05/2019 at 11:29:26
Tom @ 58; very true Re. the rs. I seem to re ember Fenway wanted to put up the admission to £77, only to meet stiff resistance. They promptly put the Anfield Rd improvements on hold.
Brian Williams
60 Posted 12/05/2019 at 11:42:31
Feckin' double posts. 🤨
Brian Williams
61 Posted 12/05/2019 at 11:42:35
Thing is Derek have you seen the cost of living/salaries in Norway?
£77'd be nothing to the majority of the rs crowd.
Derek Thomas
62 Posted 12/05/2019 at 12:21:17
Brian; it was enough for 10,000 to walk out, obviously all the norwegians weren't that bothered. But it proved to Fenway the sums wouldn't add up - hence the posponement.

It's said that the extra cream on the top, those last 10% seats cost a lot more proportionally. To have them potentially empty for half a season, means no income from the seats you paid a premium to install in the first place...especially if you can't charge the all the fans that £77 to cover it.

Brian Williams
63 Posted 12/05/2019 at 12:23:26
Derek. I have to say I wasn't actually being serious mate.
Derek Thomas
64 Posted 12/05/2019 at 13:05:02
Brian, I knew that (honest). None the less, with all the angst about the 52,000 Vs 61,878, nobody out side of governments, aka, any sensible person, will only build what they can afford to pay for and we haven't proved we can pay for the bijou version yet, nevermind the flash NWHL sur la Mersey version
Bill Watson
65 Posted 13/05/2019 at 07:15:37
I was at Spurs, yesterday, and their stadium is magnificent in every way. Early days yet, I know, but but they are selling out a 60,000 stadium compared to their former capacity of 37,000

Everything about this stadium is excellent and they, reportedly, have a turnover of £800k (excluding ticket prices) on matchdays.

I'm even more convinced Everton is missing a huge opportunity if they go for an initial 52,000 capacity.

Tom Hughes
66 Posted 13/05/2019 at 20:33:38
One counter argument to the 52k capacity, or perhaps simply to just throw a cat amongst the pigeons might be to suggest that the club goes to Dutch architects OMA. They're currently designing Feyenoord's new 63k waterfront stadium, budgeted at <€400m. At the very least it might flush out our actual construction costs.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.


About these ads

© ToffeeWeb