Everton have announced that the initial capacity for a new stadium at Bramley Moore dock would be around 52,000 with the ability to increase to 62,000 at a later date.
This has left some Everton fans underwhelmed, with many hoping that the initial capacity would be closer to the 62,000 mark, and a noisy few hoping for a starting capacity of 61,878.
Everton have, however, maintained since the beginning that the capacity for the new ground at Bramley Moore Dock would be less than the 60,000 that many fans wanted.
The club conducted an initial public consultation on the stadium project which ended earlier this month, with feedback expected early into next year, and a formal planning application for the stadium within the second half of 2019.
Everton say that the capacity follows extensive consultation with fans and stakeholders, although when speaking about capacity with NSNO and other fan websites, Everton’s stance on the capacity hasn’t been one of consultation, but rather giving vague indications that the announced figure would be the one we have seen tonight.
What will be likely to cause a stir among some fans is that the future increased capacity is partly based on the introduction of safe-standing, something which although it would be widely welcomed is far from guaranteed.
Colin Chong, Stadium Development Director told the official site: “There is still much work to do as we develop our plans and seek the views of our supporters and local communities as well as bodies such as Liverpool City Council, the Local Planning Authority and Historic England.
“At this stage, it is important to stress that this is our ‘proposed’ capacity and it is what we are currently working towards. 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.
“At this stage it is not possible to say if and when any capacity expansion to an absolute maximum of 62,000 would take place. That would also be subject to further design work, fan and community consultation and planning approval.”
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