When will everton new stadium be ready ? Everton may stay at Goodison Park for a further two seasons after confirming their new dockside arena will not be ready for the start of the 2024-25 campaign.
It was originally anticipated the forthcoming season would be the last full one at their current home, with the £500m Bramley-Moore Dock venue ready in late 2024. However, newly appointed chief executive Colin Chong has disclosed that the current timeframe could be revised because it may be impractical to move mid-season.
In a lengthy statement – his first since replacing Denise Barrett-Baxendale this month – Chong insisted the building work remained on schedule and a decision about when to move is based on the merits of when to relocate.
Because the new facility will be complete midway through the 2024-25 campaign, it guarantees Everton will be starting the next two seasons at Goodison.
“The one question I’m asked more than any other is, ‘When will the stadium be ready and finished’?” wrote Chong, who has overseen the project as the chief stadium development officer.
“There is no delay, and the project remains firmly on track and on schedule. A precise moving-in date for our new stadium has never been publicly set by the club. We have repeatedly stated that the schedule of the development will see the keys for our new home handed to us from Laing O’Rourke during the 2024/25 season.
“When a new stadium is completed from a build perspective, it must be put through its paces and the building tested. We will be working on the planning for those test events with the aim of them taking place in the final months of 2024. What they will look like and how supporters can take part is yet to be determined. In parallel with the planning for those test events, the question of when our senior men’s first team will play their first competitive game at our new ground will be determined.
“I can confirm, after overcoming a full winter where we lifted the heaviest materials in the most challenging climate, we are confident the stadium will be completed in the final months of 2024.
“This means we won’t be starting the 2024 season at Everton Stadium – but, to reiterate, the club has never publicly confirmed an intention to begin the 2024/25 season at our new home. If the project remains on schedule, it raises the question as to whether the club moves in mid-season or alternatively, do we wait and give the Grand Old Lady a fitting send-off before commencing competitive league games for the senior men’s team at the start of the 2025/26 season.”
More reassuring is Chong’s assertion that the building work is continuing according to Everton’s schedule, especially given the constant speculation regarding how majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri is funding the project.
Chong said: “Whatever decision is reached, it won’t be based on sentiment; it will be reached in consultation with fans, while also considering the impacts it will have across our football club in terms of our football operation, our commercial partners and third-party contracts, our staff, seasonal workflows and the impact, of course, on supporters.”
New Everton stadium months behind schedule, Guardian analysis suggests
The construction of Everton’s new 52,888-seat stadium is running months behind schedule, analysis suggests. Documents filed by Everton as part of the stadium’s public planning submissions – combined with the club’s latest published drone footage of the construction site – indicate that the project is at least three months late, according to experts in stadium construction.
A three-month delay to the overall project would mean the new ground would not be ready for the start of the 2024-25 season, an ambition indicated by the club. The planning documents imply the stadium should be completed by July 2024, when successful test events would have to be held before the stadium can host a competitive match. Any delays will likely increase the costs of the project which the club say stand at about £760m.
The apparent hold-up is the latest in a long line of setbacks for the club, who have been seeking finance to complete the stadium for more than three years. Everton are contesting Premier League charges for alleged breaches in financial fair play regulations and have been forced to defend themselves against a series of questions over their ownership, finances and governance.
A series of construction experts who have worked on similar-sized stadium projects said the evidence suggested the project was running at least three months late.
One of the experts said: “This project is currently 10 to 12 weeks behind. Once you start getting problems, it gets worse. Steelwork is the easy stuff. The delays come in getting the building management systems to work. If you are behind now, it is unlikely that you can make it all up.”
A second expert added: “I concur. I would say this is three to four months behind.”
The stadium project at Bramley Moore Dock is nearing the end of week 85 of its 150-week schedule. Drawings submitted as part of the planning process illustrate that by week 75 the whole upper terrace of the east and west stands should have been in place and that the installation of the roof structure would have commenced.
However, the club’s drone footage – released on Everton’s website last weekend – showed that the upper west stand terrace was still to be completed. Meanwhile steelwork, which will allow the upper terrace on the east stand to be constructed, had yet to be installed.
When the Guardian visited the site on Thursday afternoon, steel raker beams to support the upper terrace of the east stand had just begun to appear, seemingly 10 weeks after the project’s construction management plan suggests the steelwork – and accompanying terracing – should have been completed.
In written commentary accompanying the drone footage, Everton said: “… upper-tier steelwork on top of the concrete structure has led to the ongoing installation of terracing units and a retaining wall to the rear [on the west stand]. The east stand will soon begin to mirror that pattern, with the steel raker beams next to be installed ahead of the terracing. Roofing work on the west stand is due to commence in late April, or early May.”
Amid a series of financial and football setbacks in the past year, Everton have clung to progress with the stadium construction to demonstrate that the board and owner are capable of delivering something positive.
However, the repeated positive public statements appear to be contradicted by Everton’s promotional videos and its own submissions to the planning process – as well as what appear to be efforts to blame any future delay on the financial fair play investigation.
Everton did not answer questions about the apparent delays revealed by the planning documents. However, a spokesperson for the club said the project remained on track.
A spokesperson for Laing O’Rourke, the company constructing the stadium, also did not answer questions about the planning documents.
He said: “Our construction team, which now comprises almost 600 people, continues to make excellent progress on the new Everton stadium. The project is on schedule and we have a good relationship with the club.”
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