Initially expected to stand at £300 million, budget of Everton's new stadium has now “escalated significantly”, according to CEO Robert Elstone. He addressed the issue in a special letter.
Everton's new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock will not stay within the optimistic £300 million budget. The news has been confirmed by CEO Robert Elstone, who released a statement on the project's progress on New Year's Eve.
As stated by Elstone, Everton agreed to a premium fee for the selected location, which means a 20% increase for building at Bramley-Moore Dock rather than in any of other considered places around Liverpool. But that's not the only cause for price increase.
“That funding target has escalated significantly and has occupied much of our efforts of the past 12 months. The premium for the waterfront site, an ambitious capacity that we will test with more rigour, a design we can all be proud of and the simple but painful impact of inflation, have all contributed to an increased overall cost and a funding target which continues to grow.” Elstone wrote.
The budget increase doesn't mean Everton is off track with the project. To the contrary, Elstone argues that selecting the more prestigious location means chance for better deals in sponsoring, including naming rights.
However, as could be expected, the biggest focus is now on the “ambitious capacity” part. It was previously reported that Everton is aiming at 50,000-55,000, which would mean a 25-37% increase from the current Goodison Park. Could the Toffees go for 60,000 and outgrow Liverpool FC? There's no confirmation of such speculation, at least for now.
However, Everton will have to release their stadium plans sooner than later if Elstone's time frame is to be achieved. The CEO claims Everton wish to have planning permission in place by year end. If that happens, the new stadium could be ready in time for the 2022/23 season.
„It is a process not without challenge. Bramley Moore Dock sits within a World Heritage Site with several historically significant features, and our designs must respect the heritage and culture of the City’s northern docks. Our planning case will be enhanced with impressive legacy plans for our existing home at Goodison Park. Also, firmly on our agenda for 2018, is to bring all fans into the new stadium design process and our plans for Goodison when we leave.”, the CEO wrote.
Read the full letter at Everton's website.