Elstone restates funding commitment for Bramley-Moore Dock

Friday, 12 May, 2017 93comments  |  Jump to most recent
40-year lease and 50,000 capacity
Everton CEO Robert Elstone has reaffirmed that the club will pay for their proposed new stadium on Liverpool's waterfront, one he promises will 'as atmospheric and intense as Goodison Park'.

Planning for the new ground at Bramley-Moore Dock is continuing following the announcement in March that an agreement was in place with landowner Peel Group to purchase the dock site and Elstone says that work on the design and capacity of the stadium will be.

The outline funding proposal called for a 50,000-seat venue but there has been speculation among supporters and the local press that the final capacity could be larger. Elstone suggests that the Everton hierarchy are confident that they could fill a significantly larger ground than Goodison Park with it's 40,000-plus seats.

“Whilst the Council is lending valuable support, it is important to stress that the club is paying for the stadium in full," the Chief Executive confirmed. "We will pay for our new home with a long-term lease, likely to be 40 years.

“At the end of this time, the club will take sole ownership of the stadium. These two big steps forward were critical for the project to progress.

“They give us the confidence to proceed with the next phase of our work - the work required to define, in much greater detail, what the stadium will look like and the exciting role it will play in the future aspirations of the club.

“This phase of work will require substantial investment from the club, highlighting just how committed we all are to the success of the project.

“We have reason to be confident on capacity. As evidenced this season, Everton remains as ambitious as ever and will continue to challenge for a place in the Champions League.

Article continues below video content

“And, also, right now we have 10,000 prospective Season Ticket holders waiting for the release of around 3,000 seats, so we're confident that we can fill a considerably bigger stadium.

“There is a lot of work still to be done, but this aspiration sits alongside our commitments to building a stadium as atmospheric and intense as Goodison Park, and to retaining our commitment to affordable pricing.”


Reader Comments (93)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Keith Conchie
1 Posted 13/05/2017 at 07:04:45
Great to get an update on the progress of our new stadium. Although there isn't anything new being said really.

What we want to see is the architect's drawings, the proposed capacity, and an army of workmen and contractors on Bramley-Moore Dock, getting on with it.

And then we can all sit outside the Bramley-Moore pub over the road with a few cold beers, cheering them on, as they build our new world-class stadium.

Oh, and an estimated opening date would be great too, thanks.

Colin Metcalfe
2 Posted 13/05/2017 at 07:18:30
As for the size, I think a stadium of 55,000 would just right; anything over that we may struggle to fill.
Ian Herbert
3 Posted 13/05/2017 at 07:41:01
Finally it really looks like we have a new stadium on the way. I am 60 years old now and was beginning to think it would never happen in my lifetime!

Personally, I would hope for a 60,000 all-seater stadium; if we are to be as successful as we all hope, I don't think there would be any problem filling it. But I am just happy to see progress being made.

Everton rejoining the big boys has been a long time coming. I just hope I live long enough to see us take our place amongst the elite once again.

Harry Wallace
4 Posted 13/05/2017 at 07:54:21
How can you say that, Colin? We get 40k a game now. 10k on season ticket waiting list, add to that new corporate boxes, more away fans and fans wanting to see new stadium. 60k – no problem.
Martin Nicholls
5 Posted 13/05/2017 at 08:24:55
Based on current season ticket sales and the 10,000 applications they had for new season tickets, I'd like to see a 60,000 capacity stadium. Got to assume there will be even greater interest if the new stadium brings the success we're all hoping for.

And I'm with Keith – can't wait to see plans and spades in the ground!

Liam Reilly
6 Posted 13/05/2017 at 09:21:47
55,000 would be a good number with the foresight to extend in the future built-in now.

Architect drawings are not due until early 2018, if I recall correctly.

Michael Penley
7 Posted 13/05/2017 at 09:36:20
I'd like to see 65,000
Rob Hooton
8 Posted 13/05/2017 at 09:44:59
Also great to hear that we are one of the few clubs in the league committed to affordable pricing. It may lose the club a few bob but they do the same in Germany as they don't just see the fans as a cash cow over there to be milked like some of the other 'big' clubs.
Gary Hughes
9 Posted 13/05/2017 at 09:52:45
Liam (#6),

Where did you hear that about the architect drawings? Seems a long way off.

Mike Keating
10 Posted 13/05/2017 at 10:38:35
It's an odd arrangement and I'm not sure who has whom by the short and curlies.

When the lease runs out and the landlord doubles the rent, will the RedShite repeat history and move in?

Jimmy Salt
11 Posted 13/05/2017 at 10:48:36
I can't wait for this to get some traction. The picture of the Bramley-Moore Dock wall just oozes history and character. If they get the design of this thing right, it will blow the oversize cowshed out the water.

I'm not one for getting too worked up about the other lot but looking at the aerial pictures of their ground its just an ugly Old Trafford Mk 2, they're just expanding anywhere and everywhere to pack 'em in and sell 'em shirts and badges.

Peter Laing
12 Posted 13/05/2017 at 10:55:34
50,000 is not ambitious. Given we have a waiting list of 10,000 for season tickets and probably plenty more people who would be attracted to attending the new venue if the pricing structure was right, this number to me is a bit underwhelming.

Go for 60,000 with a section of the stadium that could be closed off if the demand is not always there for every game. Hopefully the concept of safe standing will also be explored?

Terence Tyler
13 Posted 13/05/2017 at 10:59:41
Elstone: "Ensuring that the new stadium makes commercial sense, and securing the finance are crucial next steps, and as you would appreciate, only when these elements are in place can we move forward."

Sounds like some very important elements are yet to be resolved. In fact, the most important....

Kevin Tully
14 Posted 13/05/2017 at 11:04:04
The actual outline stadium design is complete, the whole development will require a lot more work before any official unveiling, it's not just a new stadium. Nothing will be released into the public domain until all funding is watertight. Quite rightly so.

The previous regime would have made the same mistakes as always, and made a laughing stock of themselves as their white elephant scheme collapsed into a thousand pieces.

Fortunately, Moshiri and his team are more than capable of delivering and will follow the correct protocols.

Dan Egerton
15 Posted 13/05/2017 at 11:17:43
I want 60,000 plus maximum capacity. Minimum requirement for holding a Champions League final. Week-in & week-out, could be as low as 55,000-60,000 by copying the example in that Singapore stadium with retractable seating coming out of the ground.
John Keating
16 Posted 13/05/2017 at 11:25:26
Kevin, you are correct.

Moshiri comes in and transforms things in a year, especially regarding the ground. He has done more in 12 months than the 2 clowns have done in years.

If only Moshiri had been around during the Kings Dock days, I have no doubt not only would we have a state of the art ground but the titles and cups to adorn it.

He buys the Liver Building, gets new sponsors and, lo and behold ,they are moving their European operation to said Liver Building!

The sooner he works Bill and Bob out, the better.

Richard Reeves
18 Posted 13/05/2017 at 11:31:24
Unless there are surveys done or other kinds of research to find out how many people would attend, it's purely guess work from me as to what the capacity should be but, with the right ticket pricing and 5,000 given to the away supporters, I think 60,000 could be filled.

For any games that might not sell out, the club could have a policy where the last tickets they sell are for the seats either side of the away supporters. If they don't sell, cover them up with blue sheeting; that wouldn't look as bad as empty seats in various locations.

60,000 with room for expansion is what I would like to see.

Andy Meighan
19 Posted 13/05/2017 at 11:40:59
Keith (#1) – sounds great, make mine a lager. In fact, I can just picture myself sitting outside the Bramley-Moore Dock on a nice sunny day... Factor 50 on the bald pate, supping a few as I watch the lads getting to graft. Won't be long, boys!
Gavin Johnson
20 Posted 13/05/2017 at 11:48:42
I think 55,000 with the ability to add extra seating if required would be the best solution. 50,000 seems quite a conservative number. We made the same mistake underestimating in the past when the club built the Park End stand. There was absolutely no foresight and the foundations weren't strong enough to build the extra tier we needed.

Another way to maximise capacity and increase atmosphere would be to have one end standing.

Colin Glassar
21 Posted 13/05/2017 at 11:56:34
Right, I don't want to be a party pooper but what's all this nonsense about Liverpool losing its UNESCO World Heritage status if we build on this "protected site"?

Or is this just a malicious rumour being spread by our ever increasingly envious neighbours?

Brent Stephens
22 Posted 13/05/2017 at 12:20:04
My one fear is that parts of the media and our "brothers" across the park will have a go at what's next door to Bramley-Moore Dock. I hope this doesn't detract from the image and experience.
Phil Walling
23 Posted 13/05/2017 at 13:48:27
The bigger the stadium, the more soulless the atmosphere when not packed to the gunnels. Ask any West Ham supporter. And drop below halfway in the Premier League table and 35,000 will be all the team will attract.

Whilst I doubt I shall live long enough to set foot in the place, I suspect it will be well finished by the next time we win ought, so 55,000 seems more than big enough to me!

Karl Masters
24 Posted 13/05/2017 at 14:12:05
Man Utd 76,000, Spurs: 61,000, Arsenal 60,000, West Ham 60,000, Chelsea 60,000, Liverpool 58,000, Man City 60,000, Newcastle 52,000, Sunderland 48,000.

All current or projected capacities when work is finished.

Everton 50,000? Somewhere between Sunderland and Newcastle??? 8,000 less than Anfield????

NO, NO, NO!!!

Average already 39,000. Interest for another 10,000 already. Plans for progressive seat pricing. We will NEED 60,000 minimum! And if you doubt it just look at how crowds jumped at West Ham - jumped 22,000 this season and they have been crap. Ok that's a short term example. For a longer term one, how about Sunderland? 20 years of 40,000 crowds after years of 20,000 crowds and they have been nothing to shout home about in most of those 20 years.

If Moshiri is the real deal then 50,000 doesn't cut it. We made this mistake with the Park End 25 years ago. Don't go letting a lack of foresight mess things up again!

Good point earlier about needing 60,000 to stage a European final as well.

60,000 with ability to expand to 70,000 is what we should be aiming for MINIMUM!!!

Colin Glassar
25 Posted 13/05/2017 at 14:12:17
I agree, Phil. 55,000 with room to expand, if needed. Just look at the Etihad, loads of empty seats at every home game.
Gordon Crawford
26 Posted 13/05/2017 at 14:20:36
60,000 stadium for me. If some architect thinks that the RS should build a new 108,000 stadium, then I think 60,000 is not a step too far.
Dan Egerton
27 Posted 13/05/2017 at 14:25:35
"Average already 39,000. Interest for another 10,000 already."

I wonder how many of those 10,000 on the season ticket waiting list are already buying regular tickets? If all of them are, that puts a huge dent in expected crowds, just saying like.

Brent Stephens
28 Posted 13/05/2017 at 14:33:08
Dan, that's an interesting thought. Similar in some respects to what happened in golf a couple of decades ago.

Apparently people who wanted to join one of the relatively few (at the time) golf clubs put their name on the waiting lists of several clubs. Somebody aggregated those waiting lists and came up with the wrong estimate of latent demand for the game. The result was that too many golf courses were built in some places.

Colin Glassar
29 Posted 13/05/2017 at 14:34:22
Well if we are getting almost 40,000 now and interest from another 10,000, that makes 50,000 in my book. So how are we going to, on current form, attract another 10,000 souls?

That's why I think 55,000 (with the ability to increase capacity) is more than enough for now.

Sunderland and Newcastle are one-club cities, miles from civilisation. West Ham Utd are in London so they can attract the football tourists. We are not, yet, in the same boat as them.

Eugene Ruane
30 Posted 13/05/2017 at 14:38:35
Karl Masters (#24), great to see someone really thinking things through and giving a considered informed argument.


Andrew Clare
31 Posted 13/05/2017 at 14:40:44
The capacity has got to be 60,000.

West Ham and Tottenham were getting crowds of circa 34,000 and they both have/will have 60,000 capacity stadiums. Historically we have always attracted bigger crowds than Newcastle or Man City who have 50,000+ capacities –so why are we going lower???

Our neighbours will have more and they are in an old revamped stadium. Arsenal had 38,000 capacity at Highbury and now they have a 60,000 capacity. If we want to get back to where we were, then we have got think big.

I'm disappointed with only a 50,000 capacity.

Brian Williams
32 Posted 13/05/2017 at 15:09:29
Eugene – that's the best post ever from you! ;-)
Karl Masters
33 Posted 13/05/2017 at 16:05:29
Time we started thinking big time! This Club has been held back for 40 years by people being 'prudent'.

Take a few risks eh?

5,000 empty seats at the back of stands out of 60,000 every now and then: who cares?

10,000 not getting in at 80% of home games: that's costly and upsetting to fans. And it's entirely avoidable at this stage.

Jeez! Will this Club ever wake up and smell the coffee???

Dan Egerton
34 Posted 13/05/2017 at 16:13:38
"That's why I think 55.000 (with the ability to increase capacity) is more than enough for now."

I agree, Colin, and as for the 10,000, I'm quite concerned about it.

Dan Egerton
35 Posted 13/05/2017 at 16:15:22
Funny thing is that I expect someone in Elstone's position to cross reference names on both lists (10,000 waiting vs current ticket buyers) to discern true interest level, but I honestly don't think Elstone is smart enough to think of that.
Martin Nicholls
36 Posted 13/05/2017 at 16:30:07
Mike (#10) – as you say, it's an odd arrangement. However, if you read what Elstone said, "We will take sole ownership" after 40 years. Not sure how, but taking that at face value, there will be no landlord to "double the rent".
Karl Masters
37 Posted 13/05/2017 at 16:35:21
You'll be pleasantly surprised, Dan. Loads refuse to go at present with obstructed views the only seats they can buy.

With 30,000 season ticket holders and 3,000 away fans, there's only 6,000 seats up for grabs at any game now, apart from StubHub tickets.

I'm telling you there is serious latent demand amongst Evertonians. If we are successful, it will skyrocket.

Now I know it's the past and a different era, but when I was growing up in the 1970s, Man Utd started attracting much higher crowds than everybody else and in 1976 became only the third club since World War 2 to average over 50,000. The other two were Newcastle in 1948 and Everton in 1963.

An old fella I knew, now sadly deceased, who was a Man Utd fan, said that as a kid, to him Everton were the biggest club and Goodison was the stadium.

I want a return to that; even when I was a kid in the late '70s you could always recall the capacities of the grounds and Everton was right up there. Highbury 60,000 (but never got more than 57,000 strangely) Old Trafford 58,500, Goodison 58,000, Anfield 56,000, Maine Rd 52,500, White Hart Lane 52,000, Villa Park and Roker Park 48,000.

Not only was Goodison big – it had more seats (25,700) than all the others (eg, Highbury only had 15,000 seats and open terraces) and double/triple decker stands on all 4 sides. England played there in 1972 and it got used for FA Cup semi-finals.

So, I'm sorry, but 60,000 minimum or else we are still not catching up and the stupid thing is we have the fan base to fill 60,000 and will attract more fans if the stadium is good enough.

Don't sell us short, Farhad!

Tony Hill
38 Posted 13/05/2017 at 16:43:15
I understood that the club needs to find a primary funder(s) from whom the lease will be taken. A detail, I'm sure, but it will be good to see that wrapped up first of all.
Len Hawkins
39 Posted 13/05/2017 at 16:46:04
By attracting big games you make ££££££££££'s so 60,000 minimum. If things take off, room for extending should be factored in.

You don't want to go down the Loft Conversion route, like the RS.

Graham Mockford
40 Posted 13/05/2017 at 16:52:04
Maybe #30 could have been:


Tony Abrahams
41 Posted 13/05/2017 at 17:02:23
Good post, Karl, people only started calling us a small club when we got a skint romantic who successfully robbed Peter,to go and pay Paul, but we must thank this man because otherwise we would have ended up in The Conference North by now.

Everton, pioneers of the game in every sense, have been in the doldrums for way too long, and if history tells us anything, it's that if our club is successful, then we can fill a big ground.

Goodison is a ground I'm going to miss with all of my heart and soul but it astounds me it's sold out every week, simply because of how many obstructed views it contains.

John Raftery
42 Posted 13/05/2017 at 17:13:24
In the Sunday Times Rich List, published last weekend, the entry for Moshiri, who is now worth £1.85 billion, mentions a 52,500 capacity for our new stadium. I wonder which source that came from?

Like others, I would prefer a 60,000 capacity but 55,000 would be a big step forward if there is the option of extending it should the need arise.

Such is the demand for Premier League football, there is no reason to think we would not fill it providing the supporting infrastructure is in place, the pricing is right, and of course, we stay in the top flight.

Joe O'Brien
43 Posted 13/05/2017 at 17:21:22
Liam @6 I think it's that we'll be going for planning permission early 2018.. I'd think that the plans would be out later this year to get the fans thoughts... I'd hope anyway. It's a 60k for me. First, I'd think we'd fill it; and second, we'd have a bigger place than the other lot.
Kieran Kinsella
44 Posted 13/05/2017 at 17:30:47
It would be cool to do something different to make it really intimidating. Like if we had supporters suspended above the pitch like bats, Also grow the grass onto metal fencing so the supporters underground could see the action too. The players would be completely immersed by fans.
John Keating
45 Posted 13/05/2017 at 18:04:58

I am amazed it's taken so long for someone to come up with such an obvious answer to getting supporters more involved.

You should try and think about something possibly more radical. Well done!

Mike Berry
46 Posted 13/05/2017 at 19:04:00
I think we need a stadium with 60,000 seats, anything less could be a mistake, I would rather have extra space than not being able to get a seat!

I have no doubt it will be near capacity when everything has settled.

What some posters forget is tourism! There will be a lot of passing traffic when the area is redeveloped, and I am sure that it will attract many others on match days, not just the dyed-in-the-wool.

Dermot Byrne
47 Posted 13/05/2017 at 19:05:21
Agree, Mike B.
Lee Whitehead
48 Posted 13/05/2017 at 19:24:57
It's got to be 65,000. Any seats not sold a couple of days before a game should be given free to all the local schools, local communities, OAPs, charities etc.

Like Carl (37) said, Minimum 60,000 to become a "Big Club" again.

I can't wait!!!

Eugene Ruane
49 Posted 13/05/2017 at 19:31:18
Brian (#32) – 'Eugene that's the best post ever from you.'

Well (looks coy) it's for others to decide that, I couldn't possibly comment (it is gratifying though to know you appear to be keeping some sort of 'Eugene's top posts' list)

And one thing I will say about my post #30, it provides more insight than anything posted by Karl Link Masters.

Brian Williams
50 Posted 13/05/2017 at 19:57:57
Eugene you lost it with "looks coy." I've seen you on the 81.

On a serious not though.

60k for me. Plan for a successful. The stadium.could be designed in such a way that so many rows of seats at the back are "left out" to restrict the capacity without maming it look partly empty.

Having said that there ARE still significant problems to overcome in order for our dream to come true.

I just don't want to get too carried away just yet for fear of being gutted should things not go according to plan.

Eddie Dunn
51 Posted 13/05/2017 at 20:17:10
I would go for 70,000. The architects could design it so that extra seats could slot in for the very big demand games. If the normal capacity was 60,000 but we knew for example, that for Liverpool, Man Utd, Newcastle and big European games (and Cup Semis, and Internationals), we could pop in an extra 10,000 seats and keep our fan base happy as well as being good hosts, offering big clubs a proper allocation instead of the Premier League minimum, which reduces the atmosphere compared to the olden days.

I would also like to see a substantial amount of seats available for people like myself, who live 150 miles away and can't get up often enough to get a season ticket or can't afford one.

There must be loads of folk who don't bother trying to get a ticket due to the heavy demand. Germany is a good example of pricing, and safe standing is also worth considering in the early design stages.

I would go for 70,000 now, because we will only have to do it in 10 years time, as football is getting more popular, not less. If the top sections all around the ground were able to be switched from seats to advertising, then it wouldn't look empty.

David Israel
52 Posted 13/05/2017 at 21:12:08
Mike Keating (#10),

'History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.'

David Israel
53 Posted 13/05/2017 at 21:21:03
50,000 looks a bit underwhelming to me. At least 55k, I'd say, and this not out of any chest-thumping stupidity. First, I'm pretty sure we could bring in more than 50k on a regular basis; and second, the main reason for moving ground is precisely to make the most of the club's support.
Laurie Hartley
54 Posted 13/05/2017 at 23:29:46
In our hey day in 1963 we played Inter Milan at Goodison – the attendance was just under 63,000. A lot of that was standing on the terraces. I can tell you we were squashed in like sardines. That is why I think 60,000 should be the maximum capacity.

For me, an equally important issue is the design. I am hoping for a rectangular stadium as opposed to one of those doughnut thingies.

Dan Meis appears to be the architect engaged to design our new ground. I hope he and our backers get it right. If they do, we will be the envy of the Premier League.

Karl Masters
55 Posted 14/05/2017 at 01:04:29
To think I thought that clip had been buried, Eugene!

Not sure how I'd take your comment otherwise except I thought we read this site to read others' opinions and views. Insight a nice bonus, but not necessarily essential.

Derek Thomas
57 Posted 14/05/2017 at 07:28:38
61,878 – sorted; also put the last-to-be-sold seats under the side where the TV cameras are and nobody will ever know.
Mike Green
58 Posted 14/05/2017 at 08:04:03
Spot on, Derek – 61,878. Love it. :)
Eddie Dunn
59 Posted 14/05/2017 at 08:41:08
Laurie (#54).

Do you really think there were only 63,000 there. I don't go as far back as you but in the late seventies I could look around and know roughly what the attendance was, and the official gate was always surprisingly low (tax dodging). I was in an attendance of 54,000 for either Liverpool or the Mancs and it was packed out – but the turnstiles weren't computerised and there could have easily been 64,000 in there.

Premier League games are now attracting bigger gates across the land. I agree with Karl – if you contact the club for even an ordinary game with unfashionable opposition, the only tickets offered are obstructed view.

If you have a round trip of hundreds of miles, you don't want to sit behind a pillar for a couple of hours. There must be loads of people who would like to come to say 5 games a season.

Thomas Lennon
60 Posted 14/05/2017 at 09:36:50
A couple of points. I agree 55,000 is a minimum but the club started collecting ticket buyer stats a few years back and even five years ago I remember Elstone saying there were greater than 90,000 attending over a season. We very quickly collated a waiting list of 10,000 too so 60,000 is fillable.

Our seats go for around £25 all told so even that increase will only bring in less than £10 million a season. Comparing that with over £3 million a match brought in by Arsenal and we can see total capacity is not the main source of income. The new stadium has to offer a lot more than Goodison Park too; overcrowding could reduce that.

Also, bear in mind, a dock site will be far more easily expandable compared with Goodison Park. Build it, then keep building.

Laurie Hartley
61 Posted 14/05/2017 at 11:24:41
Eddie – I am glad you asked that question about the attendance because I always thought it was 69,000. However, I wasn't quite sure so before I posted I googled it. Perhaps my memory was right and Google was wrong.

What I do know for sure is that we were most definitely packed in and I can't remember feeling that squashed in any other game throughout the sixties when we regularly got 55,000-plus attendances.

I hope we can fill a 60,000 stadium every home game because that would mean we were back in the big time which is my dream for the club. In the sixties, we were big and everyone dreaded visiting Goodison.

The other relevant point (I think) is that the ground capacity has a direct bearing on three other issues:-

The size of the seats; or
The size of the stadium footprint; or
The number of tiers of seating.

Or all three.

All issues which the architect will address, no doubt, given the size of his budget and the size and nature of the site.

The architect has quite a challenge on his hands but, given his comments on Twitter, it seems it is one he is up for.

The Unesco issue that Colin raised is an interesting one. Some weeks ago, after watching Peel's Liverpool Waters video, I found myself thinking about what a marvellous feat of engineering and manpower the construction of the Merseyside Docks was. Suffice it to say that the Birkenhead docks were my playground when I was a boy so they hold a place in my heart 55 years and 12,000 miles later.

I hope Dan Meis comes up with a design that honours the men who designed and constructed a dock system that harnessed and subdued the power of The River, the seafarers who sailed in and out of it, and last but not least, the dockers who spent their lives earning a living for their families from it.

I wonder when we will see some preliminary plans?

Drew O'Neall
62 Posted 14/05/2017 at 11:45:58
It's top trumps time and size matters.. Ours has to be bigger than theirs.

It's about the vision always being bigger and more attractive to the next generation of scousers, or any aspiring football fans for that matter, choosing Blue not Red.

Nil satis nisi optimum is back.

Eugene Ruane
63 Posted 14/05/2017 at 12:45:44
Karl # 55 - 'Not sure how I'd take your comment otherwise except I thought we read this site to read others' opinions and views.'

So what's the problem?

I read your opinion and you read my opinion...on your opinion.

As for 'Insight a nice bonus, but not necessarily essential.' - well, maybe not mandatory, but I believe pointless without.

My opinion (see 'others opinions and views' # 55) is that shouty wishful thinking is beyond daft.

You say - '60,000 with ability to expand to 70,000 is what we should be aiming for MINIMUM!!!'

Well ok, but why not expand on that and provide a (calm) explanation as to where you think 31,000 new Evertonians are going to come from.

In this TW thread of 329 posts Link I asked where 20,000 new supporters would come from and nobody posted anything that sounded realistic or believable.

You mentioned West Ham?

Again, wishful thinking - the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, City of London, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest (alone!) have a combined population of 1.4m and predictions are that the population of 'East London' is set to increase by 600,000 over the next 15 years.

We're in a city with a population of less than 500,000 and we share that with 'them.'

Not asking anyone to change their opinions, just back them up with something more than exclamation marks and/or screaming 'NO NO NO NO!!!!!'

John Foster
64 Posted 14/05/2017 at 21:26:23
Eugene you correctly state the City of Liverpool has a population of just short of half-a-million. However, one of the facts you fail to consider is the City of Liverpool population does not include the populations of the surrounding boroughs of Sefton, Knowsley, Wirral, St Helens and Halton that makes up Liverpool City Region, with a total population of 1.5 million.

Are you seriously suggesting Everton only have a potential match-going fanbase of people who live within the city boundaries?

Incidentally, the City of Manchester has a population of under half-a-million yet Man City have an average gate of 54,000 while they have to compete with Man Utd. Maybe it's due to Man City attracting support across the whole of Greater Manchester???

Hope these facts are helpful.

Laurie Hartley
65 Posted 14/05/2017 at 23:33:18
Eugene's question about where the new Evertonians are coming from deserves an answer – if there is one.

I've set my sites a bit lower than Karl's 70,000 – for me 60,000 is the maximum stadium capacity I would set.

I wouldn't expect to fill the stadium every week so an average gate of 55,000 would be my target number (not sure that Mr Usmanov's bean counter Mr Ryazantsev would be happy with that though).

So where would I get another 16,000 fans from?

Well the first thing that came to my mind was if we could get 55,000 regularly in the 60's why can't we do it now? Perhaps part of the answer to that would be that my entrance fee to the Goodison Road Terraces in the early 60's was 3/-. Honest!

Having said that, my pocket money was 5/- so assuming people haven't changed that much perhaps if they love Everton enough the "missing 16,000" will find the money.

As John (#64) has pointed out there is the population of the outlying areas of Liverpool plus the Wirral (which alone has a population of approximately 350,000) to take into consideration.

In addition, I don't know if is the same now, but when I was a boy we had a huge following in North Wales which has a population of 690,000.

So another 16,000 looks achievable to me.

Then you have the Liverpool and Wirral Waters developments which presumably will increase the population of Merseyside.

Mr Moshiri has also bought the Liver Building and looks like he may attract a few big businesses as tenants bringing a potential source of corporate (dislike that expression) types into the mix.

At the end of it all, though, the numbers will depend on the success of the team. That is my only area of concern at the moment.

But I am sure Mr Moshiri and Mr Usmanov will sort that out – there is much more than a new football ground at stake here – it's about two new waterfronts.

Eddie Dunn
67 Posted 14/05/2017 at 23:57:42
Perhaps Eugene & Laurie, some new fans, or old "lapsed" fans, may be enticed back by lower ticket prices.

I know our club are one of the most reasonably priced but compared to Germany , where I hear(correct me if anyone knows better) you can watch a game for around £15, we are still too expensive for some people to afford it, especially on a regular basis.

When I was a teen, in the late '70's, it only cost about £1.30 to get in to the park End or Gwladys St, and I managed to have a bag of chips and get a bus to and from Eastham, all out of my pocket money. Happy days.

Imagine a 16-year-old now going to the match! it is important to have a range of ticket prices for all echelons of society.

Even the Romans had some cheaper seats in the Colosseum .

Danny Broderick
68 Posted 15/05/2017 at 00:12:17

Some of our ticket pricing really is commendable. I know kids prices are affordable at Goodison, and the dad and lad season tickets at £600 are excellent value. The disadvantage Goodison has currently is that we don't make enough money on a match day. All of the pubs and chippies outside the ground are getting most of the money.

If we can maintain similar prices in the new stadium, plus make it much easier to get food and drink inside, it would be a winner for everyone. I'm sure we would get an upswing in fans based on the match day experience alone. No obstructed views, better parking etc. We should be aiming for 60,000, or at least potential to go over 55,000. We don't want to undersell this now, and be left behind again...

Drew O'Neall
69 Posted 15/05/2017 at 08:35:27
What would stop us leaving space all around the new ground in 'the gods'? ie, the seats, or spaces for seats, furthest away from the pitch.

Surely that makes no difference to the atmosphere compared to not having that space in the first place. In other words the difference between a 50,000 and 70,000 stadium.

I would think actually having an echoey chamber at the back of each stand would enhance the atmosphere, amplifying the roar in the same way as if you put your iPhone in a pint pot.

While having empty space in front of you at the game could be a bit of a downer, I can't see having extra room behind would bother anyone or detract from the TV spectacle if partitioned correctly.

As for where these spectators are going to come from, I live in London and regularly travel to the game. Everton have thousands of fans in their peak earning years all around the country (inspired by the glorious '80s) who would gladly travel to support an ambitious Everton, so I think the case made about the populations of the City of Liverpool or even the outlying towns and boroughs, is a somewhat unambitious and small thinking type viewpoint – one which I notice when I come to matches too incidentally when compared to the experience at other Premier League grounds where they seem to presume in their presentation of the 'event' that the fanbase be national or even international.

Peter Warren
70 Posted 15/05/2017 at 08:54:44
Eugene – I think you would get 50% more (ie, 60k) if you reduced the price of tickets. For example you could say if you commit for 5 years we will only charge you half the price of your current ticket every season. Also, should aim for a lot more corporate and make it attractive. That said still a tough ask.

We sell out every week now. I think 50k quite easily achievable – more than that I think personally will be tough.

Eugene Ruane
71 Posted 15/05/2017 at 09:05:50
Laurie (#65) – "So where would I get another 16,000 fans from? Well the first thing that came to my mind was if we could get 55,000 regularly in the 60's why can't we do it now?"

John (#64) – "However, one of the facts you fail to consider is the City of Liverpool population does not include the populations of the surrounding boroughs of Sefton, Knowsley, Wirral, St Helens and Halton that makes up Liverpool City Region, with a total population of 1.5 million. Are you seriously suggesting Everton only have a potential match-going fanbase of people who live within the city boundaries?"

Yes, I know there are Evertonians who travel to Goodison from far and wide and that all future blues won't be born in Liverpool, but what people are suggesting (ie, wishing) could happen, is not backed up by the available actual data.

And that data is the history of Everton's crowds Link

This isn't guesswork, this is what has actually happened.

So what does it tell us?

Well first of all, this is data gathered over 100 years, a period that has seen highs and lows for Everton FC and the City of Liverpool.

Our geographical location hasn't changed in that time, or our proximity to to the towns, cities and teams around us (nb: so they've always been and will always be competition).

Although there's no 100% guarantee of anything, constants and available data certainly help give us an idea/clue as to what might happen (and anything else IS just pure guesswork based on 'I really hope...').

These averages tell me 50 - 55,000 would be fine (more than enough and imo we'd still have to bring prices down, give tickets away etc).

Our highest ever average is 51,000.

This was 1963 – we were Champions, it was a cheap to attend and there wasn't much else available by way of entertainment (Laurie, 55,000 'regularly'? Not regularly enough to ever give us a 55,000 average).

And in 1970, we had an average of 49,000.

Again we were champions, it was still cheap and although On The Buses was on, there still wasn't much to entertain the football classes.

I repeat, no one has (and I believe no one can) give a sensible, convincing explanation as to where/how 20,000 - 30,000 (new?) Evertonians can be found to regularly fill a 60/70k-seater stadium.

And to any answer that begins "Well okay it wouldn't always be full but.." I say then what's the point?

One more thing, re West Ham. a mate of mine is a season-ticket holder there and told me 'it's never full' (and said going there is 'fuckin' awful').

Yesterday against Liverpool (a big game) I noticed a few empty seats. Not many but they were close to the pitch and I wondered what it was like at the back.

A little research and I found out their announced attendances are bollocks.

For instance..

West Ham v Bournemouth Official published attendance: 56,977 real attendance: 52,192 (4,785 did not turn up)

West Ham v Southampton Official published attendance:56,864 Real attendance reported as: 47,000 (9,864 did not turn up)

West Ham v Middlesbrough Official published attendance: 56,945 Real attendance reported as: 47,000 (9,945 did not turn up)

Source Link

We should (as much as can can) build for what we know we can fill, rather than what we wish we could fill.

Eugene Ruane
72 Posted 15/05/2017 at 09:26:29
Drew (#69) – ' Everton have thousands of fans in their peak earning years all around the country (inspired by the glorious 80's) who would gladly travel to support an ambitious Everton.'

Spoken to them all have you? (in their 'peak earning years' too - tremendous!)

Sorry but 100% guesswork and wishful thinking (but if I'm wrong, let's see some proof/figures).

By the way, in the 'glorious 80s' (the most successful period in our entire history) I was a season-ticket holder who travelled from London to every home game (and rarely missed an away game) and if you look at our home attendances in 84-85, 85-86 and 86-87, it may prove sobering reading.

Two titles and a runners up spot in three seasons – averages 32k, 32k, 33k (rounded up/down).

The support we have is incredibly loyal and passionate, but there is (to my knowledge) simply no evidence to suggest that 60,000+ will (or can) attend Everton games regularly.

Martin Nicholls
73 Posted 15/05/2017 at 09:35:21
Interesting link that Eugene has provided at #71. My understanding is that the proposed ground move is part of a "project" (don't you just hate that word?) designed to restore EFC to the summit of English football.

If you use Eugene's link to track the attendances of Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal you will see that periods of sustained success bring simultaneous huge increases in attendance. Call it "the glory hunter factor" if you will.

Based on this, if our "project" proves to be the success we think and hope that Moshiri is aiming for, then regular attendances of 60,000 do not seem at all fanciful.

Eugene Ruane
74 Posted 15/05/2017 at 10:40:37
Martin (#73) – 'If you use Eugene's link to track the attendances of Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal you will see that periods of sustained success bring simultaneous huge increases in attendance.'

Huge increases?

Well... yeah that's true I suppose, however I still question how many Evertonians can/will regularly go to watch games live.

We once found 11,000 'new' supporters in one season, between 1984 and 1985, which can be explained by 14 years of (mainly) shite to suddenly becoming very very good.

But that leap just meant going from 20,000 to 31,000, so there's (still) nothing to suggest, for Everton, 60k+ makes sense.

Anyway, I'll make that my last comment on this thread (you can lead a horse to water etc).

I appreciate what people would like, just haven't seen/heard any evidence that convinces me they're right.

Mike Keating
75 Posted 15/05/2017 at 11:02:24
Thanks, David (#52),

Where would we be without the Marxist perspective on history?

Steve Carse
76 Posted 15/05/2017 at 11:16:04
We're now averaging almost 40,000 after a trophyless 22 years and generally zero entertainment. The 'new stadium' factor evidenced aplenty elsewhere will bring another 20% through the gates. That takes us to almost 50,000 already.

If one requirement is for 4,000 corporate seats then, unless the intention is to deny the extra demand deriving from a new, quality stadium, that means a requirement approaching 55,000. Add to this calculation the results of success on the field then 60,000 is far from pie in the sky thinking.

Of course forecasting demand for football is always difficult if looking beyond the immediate term. For instance, who would have believed 25 years ago that attendances would be massively higher if prices were going to have risen to £40 and beyond!

My only concern about our own attendances looking forward are actually a concern about the future of football itself. In particular ,what if a European Super League is eventually established and we miss the cut and so were left behind in a diminished, less prestigious, less rich, English Premier League in which the European League clubs are still allowed to participate but effectively use it for their second string teams?

Don Alexander
77 Posted 15/05/2017 at 11:18:53
Interesting speculation all round on this thread. The advent of the Premier League has caused huge increases and capacities of stadiums and although some clubs have regretted doing it the successful ones at the moment and for the past twenty years have all benefitted in terms of player acquisition.

That aside, and just like player recruitment this summer, the intentions of Mr Moshiri are key. As a businessman/accountant, he'll know 60,000 would be the minimum necessary to stage major finals and the like and, with such an iconic site on the riverbank ,might he believe there's a case for providing an alternative Wembley-esque venue for the North?

Concerts? NFL? Rugby internationals? Spit-roasting Kelvin McKenzie? Sell-outs every time!

Daniel Lim
78 Posted 15/05/2017 at 11:35:30
Eugene (#72)

"Drew (#69) – ' Everton have thousands of fans in their peak earning years all around the country (inspired by the glorious 80's) who would gladly travel to support an ambitious Everton.'"

I'm not sure if I'm in my peak earning years, I hope I still have a bit to climb to the peak, and yes I started to love Everton in 1986. So I should more or less qualify as the group that Drew was referring to.

I was working in London during the season 2005-06, I went to Goodison Park 4 times. Probably would have gone for 10 if not for the obstructed view seat which according to the club not classified as obstructed view, and the miserable performance (finished 17th?)

Now 10 years older and earning a bit more than then, I would probably be applying for a season ticket (but probably only go for 13-14 matches), if I'm still in London, and when the stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock is completed.

Colin Glassar
79 Posted 15/05/2017 at 11:53:44
Some great points, Steve (#76). Increased crowds will obviously depend on us starting to win silverware. This is why I insist on a 55,000 capacity stadium with the ability to increase if necessary.

I think we can get 50,000 Evertonians into most home games and give the rest to the away fans to improve the atmosphere. If they want less give the difference to local schoolchildren or charities.

If we start winning trophies, we will have to increase capacity to satisfy demand from the 'football tourists' who will follow whoever is flavour of the month.

Liverpool has an ever increasing tourist industry and many of those people from the Americas, the Far East, Asia etc... will want to go to watch a football match. It's about time we start tapping into those rich markets. I don't see why we won't be able to fill a 60,000-seater stadium to the rafters – in a few years.

Eddie Dunn
80 Posted 15/05/2017 at 12:22:05
Danny (#68), I think it is good that the pubs and chippies and local traders can make a bit of money on match days.

Andrew Clare
81 Posted 15/05/2017 at 12:26:00
I think it would be a mistake to have a capacity of less than 60,000. Apart from the obvious reasons where every club that has moved to a new stadium has added circa 20,000 more to their gates.

Everton have been a mid table mediocre team for many years now and yet every game is sold out and thousands more people want to attend. Even with the slightest bit of success, we would easily fill a large capacity stadium. Remember Everton have one of the largest fan bases in the country despite (I hate to say it) decades of mediocrity.

Thomas Lennon
82 Posted 15/05/2017 at 12:27:56
Be careful not to compare apples with oranges, The Premier League era has seen an overall 60% increase in attendances (since 1991)

1991 – total attendance 8.6 million (football was dying)
2017 – total attendance close to 14 million.

The figures for attendances (50,000) in 1970 are virtually for a different world, entertainment aimed at a different audience.

At the end of our finest most recent era in 1987 we averaged 33,000. Arguably we could do 60% better than that now especially if we started winning which gets us to an average of around 51,000. 55-60,000 sounds right to allow for bigger crowds for top 6 games. which would optimise cash inflow.

Building for winners is what we must do; anything else builds in mediocrity.

Tony Cunningham
83 Posted 15/05/2017 at 13:09:55
Mike (#10),

I think the lease thing is like my bike-to-work agreement. I get the bike and then pay for it in installments. At the end of the agreement I can then 'buy' the bike for pittance. I assume this lease agreement will be something similar meaning we do not own the ground until we have paid for it (40 years) after which we pay £1 or something to transfer ownership.

As for stadium size, Karl (24) lists "Man Utd 76,000, Spurs: 61,000, Arsenal 60,000, West Ham 60,000, Chelsea 60,000, Liverpool 58,000, Man City 60,000, Newcastle 52,000, Sunderland 48,000" and rightly points out how far down that list we'd be.

But remember people whinge about the atmosphere at Arsenal and West Ham, Sunderland have had an average of 8,000 empty seats every season, Man City's is actually 55,000.

I'd do a Juve and go for a tight atmospheric stadium somewhere between 50 and 55,000 but remember we don't have to have the biggest stadium to be the best. Newcastle's stadium is amazing and created a great buzz.

Colin Glassar
84 Posted 15/05/2017 at 13:15:53
We will know sooner or later how big it's going to be. I think I read that the fans will be consulted before any final decision is made although I don't know how that will work. The board/majority shareholder will have the final say, like it or not.

Anyway, size doesn't matter according to the missus.

Craig Harrison
85 Posted 15/05/2017 at 13:48:07
55,000 would be spot on. Supply and demand, keep a waiting list and there will always be supporters to sell tickets to.

Building a stadium of 60k-70k in the hopes of getting a Europa final or FA Cup semi-final every 10 years makes no financial sense. It's not just the cost of the seats being installed you also have to maintain and insure them even when empty. Also a safe standing area is a must.

Giving tickets away a few days before each game just means that supporters that might have paid will now wait to see if there are free tickets.

A 55k stadium with no obstructed views and a bear-pit of an atmosphere with a standing area would be a dream.

Tony Cunningham
86 Posted 15/05/2017 at 14:09:05
I suspect the club may be thinking of higher than 50k but are mentioning 50k so that when they announce 52,000 its seen as if they've boosted the size and ‘listened'.

A consultation may go along the lines of “What do you want, a big but cheap soulless bowl or more money spent per seat to ensure a not quite so big but better quality stadium?” And everyone will tick the box for quality.

Eric Myles
87 Posted 15/05/2017 at 14:59:20
Mike (#10), Elstone said we're paying for it over the course of a 40-year lease and then will own it outright afterwards.

Sort of like a reverse mortgage??

John Keating
88 Posted 15/05/2017 at 15:03:37
Make it 55,000 but everyone has a two-seat couch.

When we have our Champions League games, we can either have a potential crowd of 110,000 or just 55,000 very comfy people....

John Cartwright
89 Posted 15/05/2017 at 17:31:42
John, some posters here would probably be happy with a couple of sofas provided they were piled on top of each other to create the bear pit atmosphere and guarantee a full stadium each match.
Mike Keating
90 Posted 15/05/2017 at 22:56:16
Great idea, John.All season ticket holders get a sofa with an option to share via StubHubSubLet.co.uk
Laurie Hartley
91 Posted 15/05/2017 at 23:14:16
Eugene – the link you gave us at #71 is terrific. I was wrong about the average of 55,000 in the 60's – perhaps I was suffering from a severe dose of nostalgia.

What I did do was have a look at our beloved neighbours' statistics, which surprised me, and United's and Arsenal's.

What struck me most was that, in the season Arsenal left Highbury for the Emirates their attendances rose from 38,000 to 60,000 in one fell swoop. Amazing.

But then again, they had one of the greatest football teams In the history of the English game at that time.

Colin Hughes
92 Posted 15/05/2017 at 23:29:19
Why have West Ham suddenly got a bigger fanbase than us? If you check throughout modern history, they had always had average crowds around the early to mid-twenties in the 1980s and 90s , it's only since they redeveloped Upton Park with better views and facilities that they found tens of thousands extra.

We have not got to fill a stadium every week but it would be nice to be able to get 58,000 plus for derbies, or if we are title contenders again.

Think big or stay small.

Graham Mockford
93 Posted 16/05/2017 at 09:46:48
The starting point for the club is not what capacity stadium should we build but what is the most commercially viable option.

As usual when this topic starts being discussed it becomes a dick-measuring competition and we get the usual financial illiteracy.

The potential attendance that the club can attract is based on a number of factors but inevitably price is a large determinant of demand.

If you price at £x per ticket you might expect one figure.
If you price at £y per ticket you might expect another figure.

This gives you a demand curve at which point there is an optimum margin. This means for instance you might make more margin per seat at 50,000 than 60,000. This is important because the capital cost and operating costs increase with size.

The club will have some idea of how demand flexs, how pricing affects demand and the relative costs. They will run the different scenarios along with the sensitivity of their assumptions and select the option that hits their investment criteria.

It appears that 50k is the choice (although I would hope they have given themselves the flexibility to expand at a later date).

Unless someone can show me some real data rather than guesswork, I'm happy with that.

Alan McGuffog
94 Posted 16/05/2017 at 10:18:32
A 55,000 capacity stadium is not going to cost significantly more to build than a 50,000.

A couple of points: do we want to send out a signal that we accept that we are a smaller club, in terms of fan base, than Spurs, West Ham, Newcastle etc?

The other thing bothering me is that many people seem to think that any attendance below capacity is a calamity. Why?

Eugene Ruane
95 Posted 16/05/2017 at 10:36:53
Colin (#92) – "We have not got to fill a stadium every week but it would be nice to be able to get 58,000 plus for derbies, or if we are title contenders again."

Well true, there's no law says we have to fill it, but I'm guessing playing in front of 35,000 supporters, jam-packed into a 35,000 capacity stadium, would be psychologically better than playing in front of 45,000 in a stadium designed to hold 60,000.

Having stood regularly (in the Street End) in crowds of 22/23/24,000 (etc) in a stadium that could take 50,000, I know first-hand how uninspiring (and depressing) huge sections of empty seating and terracing are.

Graham Mockford
96 Posted 16/05/2017 at 12:49:20

"A 55,000 capacity stadium is not going to cost significantly more to build than a 50,000"

It depends what you call significant, but then by that logic 60 doesn't cost more than 55, 65 doesn't cost more than 60. You run the numbers and you either go with the most you can afford or the option that gives the best financial returns.

"Do we want to send out a signal that we accept that we are a smaller club, in terms of fan base, than Spurs, West Ham, Newcastle etc?"

Why does it mean we are a smaller club? Are West Ham a bigger club than Juve? Are Hertha Berlin a bigger club than Inter?

"Many people seem to think that any attendance below capacity is a calamity. Why?"

Well, it's not a calamity but it means either the atmosphere is diminished or, more important, your financial returns are worsened.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

About these ads