England: Everton's new stadium to replace Goodison Park at a later date

source: StadiumDB.com; author: Miguel Ciolczyk Garcia

England: Everton's new stadium to replace Goodison Park at a later date Everton have decided to delay their move to Bramley-Moore Dock, despite assurances that construction of the new facility is progressing at a good pace. There has also been no shortage of controversy over the redevelopment of the waterfront, although the club maintains that it cares about the heritage of the historic site.


Work is going full steam ahead, although not without a tragedy

In March 2017, Everton signed a deal to buy land near the River Mersey, on the site of the former Bramley-Moore Dock. Work has been underway on the surprising location since August 2021 to erect a new stadium that will replace the famous Goodison Park, Everton's home for 131 years.

After three months of filling the dock, the parts of the stadium began to appear on the working ground, but tragedy struck in August 2023 when one of the workers, 26-year-old engineer Michael Jones, died while working on the site. Immediately after this heart-breaking event, an investigation was launched, and determined that the cause of death was trapping between a beam and a machine on which he was working.

Work is progressing, however, with the installation of the roof structure completed at the end of October and blue seats already installed in the upper sectors of the north and east stands. The exterior of the stadium is almost complete, and builders are moving inside the facility to finish the interiors.

Everton Stadium© Mister Drone UK

Care for history or destruction of heritage?

The riverside stadium under construction is in the middle of Liverpool's historic waterfront which was UNESCO-listed, however, it is no more. Part of the reason for this was that due to the construction of the stadium, which altered both the landscape and the layout of the site, therefore it was decided to remove Liverpool from the register of World Heritage List.

The club and architects disagree with the decision, pointing out that they are doing everything in their power to preserve the original appearance of the site. The covering of the lower part of the stadium with bricks or the use of the former Hydraulic Tower and Engine House are examples of the care for the city’s heritage. The removed bricks to insert the gates have been marked and will fill in the gaps, preserving the old walls as much as possible.

It is worth noting that the three huge gates, which the club claims are 'jaw-dropping' to see, were made in Liverpool, not far from the stadium. Local subcontractors emphasise the importance of using home-grown industry to preserve the club's identity. In addition, the design of the bridge has been significantly modified to prevent too much interference with the course of the river and its flora and fauna. The structure is due to be built in January and will make logistics much easier.

Everton Stadium© Mister Drone UK

A stadium full of history

The design of the stadium is not only to blend in with its surroundings, but also to draw on the club's rich history, including Goodison Park. The benches around the venue have patterns characteristic of Archibald Leitch, designer of The Toffees' 131-year-old stadium. The openwork brick cladding also refers to his style.

An interesting proposition is the ‘'Fan Plaza'’, a project that allows any Everton fan to purchase a stone to be incorporated into the plaza outside Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium. Prices start at £65. More bricks personalised by fans will soon fill the site, another example of the successful engagement of the supporters' community by the club's authorities.

Apart from a note of nostalgia, the stadium will guarantee a so-called 'ALL’ experience, offering a space with pubs, bars and modern restaurants, which will fit in with the trend, brought from the US, of transforming arenas into important commercial sites on the city map.

Everton Stadium© Everton FCPattern Design

Everton postpones debut on the riverside

However, in December the decision to delay the league debut at the new stadium was announced. The club's governing body denied that it had anything to do with delays at the construction site. They explain the decision, taken after consultation with fans, by commercial, logistical and sporting motives, as well as the will expressed by 10,000 fans in a survey.

This will allow, by their own admission, a "fitting send-off" to Goodison Park, a place that since 1892 has witnessed The Toffees'’ defeats and victories, their moments of joy and despair. It's hard not to understand such a decision because, while stadiums don't have feelings, it seemed a big no-no to leave the venue, as planned, midway through the 2024/25 season.

Everton will therefore move to Bramley-Moore Dock ahead of the 2025/26 season. The stadium will not only provide them with more seats but also more excitement as the auditorium will be just five metres from the pitch. If all goes to plan, the 52,000-seat facility will be ready in December 2024.

Everton Stadium© Everton FCPattern Design