Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium

Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium is an under construction football stadium that will become the home ground for Everton F.C.. Located on Bramley-Moore Dock in Vauxhall, Liverpool, England, it is due to open for the start of the 2024–25 season, replacing Goodison Park.

Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium
LocationBramley-Moore Dock, Liverpool
Coordinates53°25′30″N 3°00′10″W / 53.4251°N 3.0028°W / 53.4251; -3.0028Coordinates: 53°25′30″N 3°00′10″W / 53.4251°N 3.0028°W / 53.4251; -3.0028
OwnerEverton
OperatorEverton
Capacity52,888
Construction
Broke ground10 August 2021 (2021-08-10)
Opened2024 (planned)
Construction costEstimated around £500 million
ArchitectMEIS Architects
Pattern Architects
BuilderLaing O’Rourke
Structural engineerBuro Happold
Tenants
Everton
Website
www.evertonfc.com/stadium

Bramley-Moore is a former commercial dock that sits behind locked gates next to a wastewater treatment plant,[1] and it is intended that the new stadium will become the heart of a new mixed-use development in the area containing shops, housing and other venues.

PlanningEdit

Everton first played at Goodison Park in 1892 and has been gradually updated since its construction, the most recent major development being the opening of a new stand in August 1994, which has given it an all-seater capacity of more than 40,000, but ultimately is constrained by its methods of construction and its location. In 2007, then-CEO Keith Wyness revealed that the club had spent £500,000 on repairs just to keep the steelwork of the ground up to standard, and that within ten years there was a serious possibility it may not pass safety inspections.[2] The Taylor Report in 1990 required that all stadia in the Football League in Britain become all-seater, which severely curtailed Goodison Park's capacity, which had peaked at more than 78,000, to just over 40,000, and then further to its current capacity of 39,414.[3] This lags behind nearby Anfield, which has plans to expand to 62,000, but still being much lower capacity than Old Trafford and various other stadia.[4]

The possibility of a move to a new stadium was first mentioned around 1996, when then chairman Peter Johnson announced plans to move Everton from Goodison Park to a new 60,000-seater stadium at a different site. By 2001, a site at King's Dock had been identified as the location for a new 55,000-seater stadium, scheduled for completion around 2005, but these plans were abandoned due to funding difficulties.

Everton entered into talks with the Knowsley Council and Tesco in June 2006 over the possibility of building a new 55,000-seat stadium, expandable to over 60,000, in Kirkby.[5] The plan became known as The Kirkby Project. The club took the unusual move of giving its supporters a say in the club's future by holding a ballot on the proposal with the results being in favour of it, 59% to 41%.[6] Opponents to the plan included other local councils concerned by the effect of a large Tesco store being built as part of the development and a group of fans demanding that Everton should remain within the city boundaries of Liverpool.[6] Following a public inquiry into the project,[7] the central government rejected the proposal.[8] Local and regional politicians attempted to put together an amended rescue plan with the Liverpool City Council calling a meeting with Everton F.C. The plan was to assess some suitable sites short listed within the city boundary.[9][10] However, the amended plan was also not successful.

The Liverpool City Council Regeneration and Transport Select Committee meeting on 10 February 2011 featured a proposal to open the Bootle Branch line using "Liverpool Football Club and Everton Football Club as priorities, as economic enablers of the project".[11] This proposal would place both football clubs on a rapid transit Merseyrail line that would circle the city and ease transport access. In September 2014 the club, working with the Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Mutual Homes, outlined initial plans to build a new stadium in Walton Hall Park.[12] However, those plans were later scrapped in May 2016 with the prospect of two new sites being identified for the club.[13] At the Annual General Meeting in January 2017, the chairman, Bill Kenwright revealed that Bramley-Moore Dock was the preferred site for the new stadium, with a new railway station and a new road being funded by the City Council.[14] This was contingent on setting up a Special Purpose Vehicle with Liverpool council, who would act as guarantors for the hundreds of millions in commercial loans the club planned to use to finance the construction.[15]

The choice of the Bramley-Moore Dock site was endorsed in a public consultation exercise conducted in 2018,[16] but was met with stern criticism from UNESCO, which later removed Liverpool from World Heritage Sites.[17] Architect Dan Meis has been charged with designing a new stadium for Everton,[18] followed by a second stage of consultation, called The People's Project.[19]

In November 2017, the club agreed to a lease with Peel Holdings lasting 200 years, and in 2018 revealed its plans for a 52,000 seat stadium, which could be expanded to 62,000 in the future, demand permitting.[20]

FundingEdit

On 23 March 2017, it was announced that a deal had been agreed between Liverpool City Council, Everton F.C., and Peel Holdings to acquire the dock for a new football stadium.[21]

On 31 March 2017, Liverpool City Council voted in favour of creating a Special Purpose Vehicle company. The company was proposed with securing the funds for the stadium. The lenders would acquire a 200-year head-lease of the land from Peel, the landowners, and leasing the stadium to the SPV, which would in turn sub-lease to Everton for 40 years.[22][23]

The current funding model now proposed before Liverpool City Council (revealed at Everton's AGM on 9 January 2018) [24] would be an arrangement that will see the council borrow £280m at ultra-low interest rates from the government, and then pass that loan on to the club at a profit to the city of around £7m a year over 25 years.[25][26] Costs for the new stadium now escalating to an estimated £500m,[27] would mean the club would still require to find the remaining £220m. As of June 2018 the council funding still not in place doubts were raised by Mayor Anderson if this funding model would be agreed.[28]

In July 2019, it was reported that the Club had options to fund the development from both the private and public sectors, which could include selling naming rights to a sponsor.[29]

In January 2020, it was announced that Everton have agreed a naming right deal worth £30 million with USM who already sponsors Everton's training ground, Finch Farm.[30]

The club further announced that it would enlist the help of major international banks JP Morgan and MUFG to help secure finance for the new stadium.[31]

In March 2022, Everton announced they would no longer receive a loan from Liverpool City council and had acquired alternative funding. [32]

Proposed featuresEdit

 
The proposed stadium is planned to be located behind this hydraulic tower at Bramley-Moore Dock. The tower will be kept as a feature.

Everton's proposed new stadium is a bowl design with a proposed capacity of 52,000 and constructed of steel and glass, with the current dock being filled with reclaimed sand from the River Mersey.[33]

Similar to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, it is intended that there will be a 13,000-seater stand which is reportedly inspired by the "Yellow Wall" at the Westfalenstadion, the stadium of Borussia Dortmund.[34]

Loss of Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City UNESCO World Heritage StatusEdit

Bramley-Moore Dock was within the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a number of heritage assets that are at risk or in disrepair, which Everton F.C. stated will be repaired and maintained.[35]

Despite this, in 2021, UNESCO recommended that the City lose its status, with the development at Bramley-Moore Dock being one of the reasons, along with the longstanding development of the waterfront and the wider Liverpool Waters project.[36] The heritage body said the stadium "would have a completely unacceptable major adverse impact on the authenticity, integrity and outstanding universal value of the World Heritage Site."[37] The revocation of the world heritage site status was confirmed in July 2021.[38]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Can stadiums still serve the public good in this new footballing age?". The Independent. 26 July 2019. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  2. ^ "Wyness: Why our out of date Goodison will only get worse". Liverpool Echo. Reach plc. 17 July 2007. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Know Your History: Goodison's Record Attendance".
  4. ^ Inglis, Simon. The Football Grounds Of Great Britain. HarperCollins.
  5. ^ "Everton in talks on stadium move". BBC. 15 June 2006. Retrieved 21 August 2006.
  6. ^ a b Conn, David (21 January 2009). "Grounds for discontent at Everton as move hits trouble". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  7. ^ "New Everton stadium faces inquiry". BBC Sport. 6 August 2008. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  8. ^ "Government reject Everton's Kirkby stadium plans". BBC Sport. 26 November 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  9. ^ "Government reject Everton's Kirkby stadium plans". BBC Sport. 26 November 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
  10. ^ "Government dash Toffees plans". Sky Sports. 25 November 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  11. ^ "Liverpool City Council Regeneration and Transport Select Committee meeting on 10 February 2011". Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  12. ^ Tallentire, Mark (15 September 2014). "Everton announce plan for new stadium in nearby Walton Hall Park". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  13. ^ "Liverpool Mayor says Everton will have new stadium 'within three years'". Liverpool Echo. 16 May 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Everton reveal Bramley Moore Dock as preferred stadium site". BBC News. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  15. ^ Hunter, Andy (23 March 2017). "Everton seek £300m to build stadium on Mersey site at Bramley Moore dock". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Ltd. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  16. ^ "Everton pushes on with stadium plans". Place North West. 13 February 2019.
  17. ^ "Liverpool stripped of World Heritage status with Everton's Bramley Moore Dock stadium project cited as reason". Sky Sports. United Kingdom. 21 July 2021. Archived from the original on 21 July 2021.
  18. ^ Jones, Adam (16 August 2019). "Dan Meis and Everton fans throw support behind latest Bramley-Moore dock idea". Liverpool Echo.
  19. ^ "Consultation Roadshow". The People's Project.
  20. ^ Beesley, Chris. "Everton's new stadium timeline as work on Bramley-Moore Dock can now begin". Liverpool Echo. Reach plc. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  21. ^ "Everton agree deal for new stadium site". BBC News. 23 March 2017.
  22. ^ Hunter, Andy (23 March 2017). "Everton seek £300m to build stadium on Mersey site at Bramley Moore dock". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  23. ^ Hunter, Andy (31 March 2017). "Everton's plans for £300m new stadium approved by Liverpool City Council". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  24. ^ Houghton, Alistair (10 January 2018). "Liverpool council WILL loan Everton millions for new stadium, mayor says".
  25. ^ "Financing Everton's New Stadium". toffeeweb.com.
  26. ^ Prentice, David (2 February 2018). "The TRUTH behind the funding Everton FC's new stadium".
  27. ^ Hunter, Andy (31 December 2017). "Everton's new stadium costs 'escalate significantly' with 2022 target now set". The Guardian.
  28. ^ "Joe Anderson casts doubt on LCC funding for new stadium". toffeeweb.com.
  29. ^ "New Everton stadium to 'rise from dock'". 25 July 2019. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  30. ^ Bascombe, Chris (14 January 2020). "Everton agree £30m naming rights option for proposed new stadium with former Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov". The Telegraph.
  31. ^ Kirkbride, Phil (14 January 2020). "Everton enlist major banks to help finance Bramley-Moore Dock". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  32. ^ Kirkbride, Phil (14 January 2020). "Everton enlist major banks to help finance Bramley-Moore Dock". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  33. ^ Jones, Adam. "New images show how Everton will transform Bramley-Moore Dock into state-of-the-art stadium". Liverpool Echo. Reach plc. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  34. ^ "Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium". The Stadium Guide. The Stadium Guide. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  35. ^ Association, Press. "Council planning report recommends approval of Everton's proposed new stadium". BT.com. BT. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  36. ^ "Unesco report says Liverpool should lose World Heritage status". BBC News. 21 June 2021. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  37. ^ McDonough, Tony (17 February 2021). "Everton stadium 'completely unacceptable', says UNESCO". LBN Daily. Liverpool Business News. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  38. ^ Liverpool stripped of Unesco World Heritage status BBC News 21 July 2021