England: Topping out at Everton Stadium
source: StadiumDB.com; author: Mateusz Osmola
The construction of a new facility for The Toffees is on schedule. This was confirmed at the topping-out ceremony held in April, which celebrated the completion of construction work on the stadium under development at Bramley-Moore Dock.
Celebration in the blue part of Liverpool
Everton began construction of their new home in August 2022. The magnificent facility is being built on the former docks on the banks of the River Mersey. The arena's target capacity is 52,888 spectators and is expected to be ready before the start of the 2024/25 season, and there are many indications that this deadline will be met. A topping-out ceremony has just taken place at Everton Stadium site, with representatives from both the club and main contractor Laing O'Rourke claiming that work is progressing on schedule.
The ceremony was also an opportunity to celebrate 20 months since work began at Bramley-Moore Dock. Since then, all four stands have reached their intended heights and the final sections of steelwork and terracing are now being installed at the top of the east stand, where a topping-out ceremony has just taken place. Work is also underway at the venue to complete the roof structure over the western section of the auditorium. Preliminary fit-out work has already begun on the two main stands.
Everton's stadium development director, Colin Chong, said:
The project has had to overcome many hurdles, but what can’t ever be questioned is its importance to the future of Everton Football Club and, more dramatically, its importance to the economy and the people of the Liverpool City Region. That is why we should all take immense pride in ‘topping out’ while the project remains firmly on track.
Everton's premature optimism?
Not everyone shares this optimism, however. At the end of March, The Guardian claimed that after analysis by stadium construction experts of documents submitted by The Toffees as part of public planning submissions, and the club's latest published drone footage of the site, suggested the project was at least three months behind schedule.
Laing O'Rourke's project director, Gareth Jacques, takes the opposite view:
What we do isn’t easy and we have some of the best people in the industry, and some of the engineering we adopt at Laing O’Rourke is very cutting-edge. What you see is a result of doing some really difficult sub-structure work through the winter months, when there was rain, hail, it was very windy and not pleasant at all. To do all that and keep slightly ahead of schedule is impressive and I am incredibly proud of everyone involved.
Everton have also confirmed that they are in advanced negotiations to secure the next stage of funding for the stadium, and initial terms have been agreed. The funding is expected to be signed within the next few months. Everton currently sit 17th in the Premier League. A possible relegation would certainly have a significant impact on the club's future.
Everton Stadium was among the 10 venues proposed by the UK and Ireland for the eventual bid to host UEFA Euro 2028. You can find out more about this candidacy in the video on our YouTube channel: