We've known for a while thatEverton's new stadium will be safe-standing-ready. However, thismight not be limited to the south end, instead extending also towardsthe east and north.
Since Tuesday Everton supporters have been receiving online surveys from their club. A few dozen questions need answering, which means the survey could take some 15 minutes. It's expected to give The Toffees a better overview of the fans' expectations and financial capabilities with regard to the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.
The most crucial part considers how much fans are willing to spend and on what kind of experience. For the richest fans there's an option unseen at any other British stadium but known well from the likes of Hard Rock Stadium. It's the 'living room' style lounge, offering semi-private spaces within regular stands.
But while hospitality is expected to bring more than any other kind of use, there's also fascinating news for regular matchgoers. Everton is asking fans across three stands whether they wish to sit or stand during games. Spoiler alert: standing room would not be cheaper than seating, which should be the case.
From the start, since Dan Meis met with supporters for the first time, it was quite clear that a large single-tiered stand would be built behind the south goal. In all-seater mode it will hold 13,000 people, however if standing room is allowed, the number could rise to nearly 20,000.
That part has been clear for quite some time, basically since the project's presentation a couple years back. However, there's a new twist to the story: fans are also asked whether they would be interested in safe standing on the east and north stands. This would only leave the premium west stand all-seated.
Of course, the move would depend on legal changes across the UK as currently only individual seats are allowed in the Premier League. But recent reports suggest change is on the way and safe standing can be introduced before the new stadium is delivered.
The latest portion of online surveys is one more element of what has been one of the world's most thorough consultation process. The multi-level series of exchanges with supporters has already included direct meetings with the stadium's main architect, online surveys, live presentations and the municipal public consultation.
What stage is the stadium at these days?
Following Everton's filing of amended documentation this summer, we're now awaiting the city council's determination on its future. A separate meeting on the issue is to take place in December. However, Everton are already anticipating protests and review efforts for any potential planning permission, having seen the opposition from conservationists grow.
That's why the Toffees have filed a second planning application, for enabling works at the dock. These would include site clearing, creation of three new openings in the historical outer wall, new gates, remediation and irrigation of the site. This way, even a prolonged review process would not stop the project from progressing at least in terms of early works.