Top-flight English soccer side Everton have revealed that their proposed new stadium will have a capacity of 52,000 with the potential to expand to 62,000 in the future.
The Premier League outfit are yet to release any designs of their new ground at Bramley Moore Dock and will submit a detailed planning application for the stadium in the second half of 2019 after the project was hit by delays. The club added that the design will be subject to further consultation and engagement with supporters.
The projected capacity is based on a number of factors including design and orientation of the stadium on the banks of the River Mersey, as well as current and future ticket demand and forecast revenues and costs. Everton chief executive Robert Elstone admitted at the start of 2018 that costs for the new ground had “escalated significantly” from UK£300 million.
The club also said that two stands in the proposed design will be future-proofed to accommodate rail seating or safe standing should it be legalised in the UK.
Should planning permission be granted, Everton hope that the stadium would be ready for the start of the 2023/24 season.
“At this stage, it is important to stress that this is our ‘proposed’ capacity and it is what we are currently working towards,” said stadium development director Colin Chong. “It is important to emphasise that the final capacity and design will be subject to further engagement and consultation.
“We believe that our approach is the right one because it is commercially and financially sustainable and will mean that, in the long term, we will be able to increase the capacity should there be a demand and requirement to do so.
“Extensive work has gone into assessing the optimum capacity at the point of opening to create the best possible atmosphere for fans and, in turn, supporting the players on the pitch.”
The new stadium would have over 10,000 more seats than Everton’s current Goodison Park home, which has a capacity of just over 39,000. The ground would be the eighth largest in England, but should it be expanded to 62,000 seats it would move above Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium into third – behind only Old Trafford and Wembley Stadium.