Podcast: A Year Of Progress At Everton Stadium

All key milestones were achieved following a stunning year of development at Everton Stadium.

Chief Stadium Development Officer Colin Chong revealed that the project at Bramley-Moore Dock remains on schedule for completion in the 2024/25 season, ahead of a crucial few months.

And in an exclusive Club podcast, reflecting on an eventful 2022, he hailed the Everton fans for their input into the final design.


Chong said: “It couldn’t have gone any better for us this year. We have hit all of our key dates, maintained progress and it is very visual now, as it comes above the wall at Bramley-Moore Dock, so it has been a very good year.

“From a planning and progress perception, it has gone absolutely bob-on. It’s the unknowns that affect things, and then you have to react.

“This winter will be a big milestone for us. If we get through this winter, we can see whether our allowances have been accurate or favourable to us. They are the sort of things that upset the technical aspects of what we are doing.”

There have been many milestone moments throughout 2022, as the stadium rose quickly from the newly-infilled dock, starting with the installation of the first overground concrete component to see in the new year.

The 2,500 concrete piles on which the stadium sits – each bored up to 20-metres deep into the compacted sand and surrounding wharves – were capped off, before the first super-column of steelwork was installed in the north-west core in March.

June’s arrival of the giant tower cranes - described by Chong as “the workhorses of the site” - accelerated the build and, within a month, all four sides of the 52,888-seater stadium were under construction.

August brought the first anniversary of the project commencement ceremony at Bramley-Moore Dock; marked by work being completed on building the four concrete cores and the first of over 2,000 bespoke, double-stepped concrete terracing units being installed.

By November, the first brick façade panels that will clad the stadium were installed in the north-west core, while the giant roof truss lifting operation commenced, culminating in the first full-span roof truss being completed in late December.

“We can talk about significant moments, or milestones, but Evertonians really need to go to Boundary Bridge and stand there and have a look at how that stadium looks now as you look down the hill,” added Chong.

“For the average Evertonian, the roof truss installations are probably the most significant element they have seen to date.

“The stadium went up 12 metres in height in one day and you can’t be unimpressed by something of that nature.

“Now, we’re into the detail of design development and we are tweaking little bits here and there. Those tweaks can sound insignificant, but they can have a big impact and it all still has to be coordinated.

“You change one wall and you have to change some of the structures below it, you have to change some of the cabling and routing and even where the socket might have been, so there is a knock-on effect.

“This Christmas has always been the key date, for me, to stop changes. There is always a late request, and IT and tech is probably the biggest thing that can influence design changes.

“But we gave ourselves a target of Christmas for any significant changes and we are really well developed with design now and it is a case of hopefully picking colours of walls, wallpapers and carpets and getting all that into the process.”

The coming year will bring the next metamorphosis on site, as work begins in earnest on the internal fit-out in the belly of the four stands.

And as the lower tiers of the stands are infilled, once the heavy crane lifting is complete, the intimate and visually intimidating nature of the bowl will begin to reflect the wishes of Everton fans.

“Two or three years ago, 60,000 supporters commented on our proposals and we took those comments and incorporated them into the design,” explained Chong.

“Some of those requests – things like the number of seats on a row and how compact they are - can be frowned upon in modern construction or stadiums, where people would want them spread out to give people more arm room.

“However, the Evertonians wanted to emulate what they had at Goodison Park because of the atmosphere, so we challenged that with building control and the licensing and they were really open to constructive challenge and agreed that they were happy to accommodate those requirements.

“So, the fans’ input is really important and continues to be. The support of people just watching the drone footage demonstrates that everything has been really positive and I really do hope that when it’s finished, and people look at the artwork we portrayed in the consultation process, that they say, ‘They have actually delivered what they said they would’.

“There’s always a little bit of design development and a little bit of external influence, or changes in legislation.

“But I do think that when we have finished, the Evertonians will look at this stadium and think, ‘They have delivered and it looks and feels exactly how we wanted it’.”