When things return to normal and fans can travel to games again, Albion supporters might only have a couple more opportunities to visit one Goodison Park, one of English football’s iconic old-school theatres.
Work on their new stadium on Liverpool’s Northern Docks could begin later this year after their proposals for a new 52,888 capacity arena was given the green light by Government last month after Liverpool City Council’s planning committee unanimously approved their plans.
The new stadium will have an iconic design that celebrates Liverpool’s historic waterfront and pays tribute to the 18th century dockland environment that surrounds it. It also ensures the club remain in the north of Liverpool and is less than two miles from Goodison, Everton’s home for an incredible 143 years.
While leaving Goodison Park will be emotional for every Evertonian, the ‘Old Lady’ as she is affectionately known has its limitations. With no opportunity to expand or redevelop, a high percentage of restricted view seats and growing waiting lists for Season Ticket and Hospitality memberships the club had no option but to look for a new home in order to compete with the big clubs in Europe.
Just like Albion’s protracted battle to get to our Amex home ten years ago, the support Everton received for the move from its fans has been overwhelmingly positive.
Richard Kenyon, the club’s director of marketing, communications and community, said: “Supporters have undertaken surveys, taken part in consultations, focus groups and engagement sessions. Ultimately it is the feedback we received from fans that led to our 11 key principles – which formed the blueprint for our stadium development – as well as the brief for our stadium architect.”
The outcomes from those initial surveys showed supporters wanted an identifiable home end – this has been achieve in the South Stand, which is futureproofed with the potential for rail seating and will house more than 12,000 home fans.”
The way the club leaves Goodison Park is also really important to Everton, as Kenyon explained. “Working with the local community the club plans to deliver a unique regeneration schemes for one of the UK’s most disadvantaged areas by creating new housing including sheltered accommodation for elderly people, health facilities, education amenities, a youth zone and business start-up facilities. The site will always have a tribute to Goodison Park with plans to keep the current centre circle as open green space.”
The plans for a new stadium and a legacy project at Goodison Park received the support of the entire region as more than 60,000 people took part in the award-winning public consultations.
And as Albion have discovered since moving to the Amex, there are massive economic benefits for the local area.
Everton's once-in-a-generation stadium development and legacy project will generate a £1.3bn boost to the economy, create more than 15,000 jobs, attract more than 1.4m visitors to the city post-Covid, act as a catalyst for £650m worth of accelerated regeneration and offer £255m worth of supply chain opportunities to local businesses.