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Amidst an ongoing series of crises at Everton in the last half-decade, the club has been literally laying the groundwork for an incredible new stadium that it hopes will define a renewed era of success.
But why are Everton leaving Goodison Park, how much will the move cost, where will Everton play during construction, have there been any problems on-site, what will the capacity be and when will the Everton new stadium opening date be?
Football Ground Guide offers the answers to all these questions in this regularly update guide.
History of Goodison Park
GOODISON PARK, LIVERPOOL
Capacity: 39,572 (all seated)
Pitch Size: 112 x 78 yards
This will be the first time Everton have moved grounds since 1892, when they ditched Anfield (yes, that's right, the current home of Liverpool) following a bitter and long-fought dispute with their own chairman John Houlding.
One of the key benefactors behind Everton's early success, Houlding soon frustrated the Everton FC committee by refusing their regular requests for a long-term, stable lease on the Anfield ground and forcing frequent rent increases. The matter came infamously to the fore in the autumn of 1891 as Everton's committee fought off a proposal that would have left the club in significant debt and made Houlding a large profit.
Instead, they identified a cheaper and larger site nearby at Mere Green field and abandoned Anfield and Houlding who, after trying and failing to hijack the Everton name and colours, founded a new club for his now-empty stadium, its name Liverpool FC. Everton's last game at Anfield was a mid-April clash against Bolton Wanderers but by August 1892, they celebrated the inaugural event at Goodison Park, a festival of athletics, music and fireworks. The football would soon follow.
Goodison Park was, in fact, the first ground specifically constructed for football in England. Its original capacity was 12,000, though this was bolstered quickly by frequent enhancements and expansions. Roofing was added to the uncovered stands and soon enough, plans had begun for a two-tiered stand, and another followed a couple of decades on.
Another English first came with the introduction of covered dugouts in 1931 and a few tweaks were made prior to the 1966 World Cup. Goodison hosted several games during the tournament, including the West Germany vs Soviet Union semi-final.
There have been a couple of rebuilds since, for the Goodison Road and Park End stands, but the crucial change came after the Taylor Report in 1990, which demanded all Football League stadia to become all-seater. This dramatically reduced the capacity at Goodison Park, from nearly 80,000 to 40,000.
Changes since have been primarily cosmetic, but even so, or perhaps due to this, Goodison Park is one of the most-loved grounds in English football. What it lacks in comfort, it makes up for in character.
Why are Everton leaving Goodison Park?
So, why leave? Well, there is a genuine lack of comfort at Goodison Park, for supporters, players and the media. In addition, there's a lack of corporate facilities at Goodison Park. Everton take home less money from their corporate facilities than any other club in the Premier League does, something which the owners of Everton are desperate to change. The move to their new stadium will bring in more money from sponsorship deals and corporate seats. Supporters will hope this additional income will be reinvested in the playing squad.
Furthermore, there is little-to-no room for expansion at Goodison Park itself due to the ground being sandwiched between terraced housing in the city.
What's the location of the new Everton stadium?
Everton's new stadium will be situated just over two miles away from Goodison Park, and it'll be on the banks of the River Mersey at Bramley Moore Dock.
The location is a former commercial dock and the whole area is expected to be transformed thanks to Everton's move, with new shops and housing.
Cost of Everton new stadium, and how will it be funded?
Designed by MEIS Architects and Pattern Architects, the Everton Stadium – as it will officially be known to begin with – is being built by Dartford-based construction company, Laing O’Rourke. The estimated cost for the stadium is around £500m, with Everton already having a good chunk of the money set aside, they needed to find the remaining £220m as of 2018.
In January 2020, Everton announced that they had agreed naming rights with USM worth a reported £30m. USM already sponsor Everton’s training ground, Finch Farm. Later on it was also announced that the club would seek out help from major international banks, JP Morgan and MUFG to help secure the finance to ensure the stadium would be built.
In 2022, the club then went on to announce that Liverpool City Council would not be offering a loan to the club to help with the build.
In September 2023, Everton received a £100m loan from MSP Sports Capital to help fund the new stadium build.
In the same month, majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri announced an agreement to sell his 94.1% stake in the club to 777 Partners. How this will affect the funding of the stadium build is yet to become clear, but Moshiri has insisted the potential takeover would guarantee the full construction of the new ground.
What are the plans for the Everton new stadium?
The Everton stadium will have a bowl design made up of steel and glass. The plans have been much-lauded for their design qualities, which intend to complement the architecture of the old dock buildings surrounding the site.
One of the key aspects of the new ground is something called ‘ALL'. Quite what this is remains a little unclear beyond PR speak. In essence, it seems to be a new program offering a wide choice of social spaces, such as pubs, bars and restaurants.
Everton new stadium capacity
As for capacity, the bowl will be able to seat 52,888 and will have a one-tier stand similar to that at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium inspired by Borussia Dortmund’s Yellow Wall. This stand will hold approximately 13,000 spectators.
🎥 | The interior of the west stand continues to evolve, with rooms, corridors and concourses taking shape on all three levels. 🏟️ https://t.co/IFu5EuiVFr
— Everton Stadium (@EvertonStadium) June 2, 2023
Everton new stadium opening date
The Everton Stadium is set to be completed midway through the 2024/25 season. It is not yet decided whether the Toffees will move into their new home midway through that season, or wait until the start of the 2025/26 season to leave Goodison Park.
Latest pictures of Everton new stadium progress
Progress is good at the Bramley Moore dock site, but Everton were faced with the tragic loss of a worker in August 2022. Michael Jones was a lifelong Evertonian who followed his team home and away. He died after suffering severe head injuries in a heavy machinery incident.
Work paused as a result of the tragedy, but has since resumed.
Latest Everton new stadium videos
New Everton stadium single-tier South Stand video
The jaw-dropping scale of the steep-tiered south stand – which will house more than 13,000 Evertonians – is visible for the first time following the installation of terracing. 🏟 pic.twitter.com/SQj5o2QarR
— Everton Stadium (@EvertonStadium) November 3, 2023