Premier League Side Everton Identifies Site For Possible New Stadium
Everton has "identified a site, believed to be in Walton Hall Park, as the possible home for a new stadium, after 122 years at Goodison Park," according to Chris Bascombe of the London TELEGRAPH. Everton’s "determination to leave Goodison Park has forced them to consider becoming tenants in a new, Liverpool City Council-owned 50,000-seat stadium." Everton CEO Robert Elstone said that the club "had identified a site for an alternative venue near their current home, with Everton hoping to follow the Manchester City blueprint towards relocation." Man City’s Etihad Stadium "was initially built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and remains the property of Manchester City Council." Everton said that "a similar tenancy agreement is a necessity because they cannot afford to finance the construction of their own arena" (TELEGRAPH, 4/29). In London, Andy Hunter reported Everton has "worked closely on stadium proposals with Liverpool city council since the collapse of their controversial 'Destination Kirkby' project in 2009." Elstone "confirmed a new stadium 'remains a big priority' at Everton's general meeting at the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool on Tuesday." The Everton board "is expected to decide on the financial viability of the scheme in the next few months." Everton has "worked on a stadium plan with Liverpool city council before, the aborted Kings Dock project, but Elstone believes the wider economic benefits of Manchester City's move has brought fresh impetus to their latest partnership" (GUARDIAN, 4/29). Also in London, Paul Joyce reported Elstone said that a "full appraisal into the risk/reward and debt burden of moving to a new ground is currently being undertaken by Everton’s board, but there is 'cautious optimism.'" He said, "We’re not ruling out any of the sites that we’ve identified and that the council has presented to us, but there is one site that’s getting more attention. It has been getting more attention for a number of months. It’s been worked on very carefully and diligently, not only by Everton but also by the council, planners, architects, advisers, cost consultants, regeneration experts, solicitors and so on." Everton is "not capacity constrained and have no waiting list for season tickets." It has "had nine sell-outs this season, with the average attendance 37,636, shy of their capacity of 39,600." The Walton Hall Park site "would tick boxes in terms of being local, available and benefitting from good transport links" (EXPRESS, 4/29).