Everton’s Chief Stadium Development Officer Colin Chong provided a detailed update on the progress of the project and plans for further supporter consultation around the move from Goodison Park to the Club’s new home at the latest Fan Advisory Board (FAB) meeting on Wednesday.
Chong was joined by senior members of Everton’s communications, commercial and insight teams as attendees were also given an overview of the ALL lounge, bars and restaurants strategy and a detailed presentation on how state-of-the-art technology will be used at Everton Stadium to enhance fans’ matchday experience.
Chong reiterated that the construction project remains firmly on track and that, alongside the ongoing installation of steelwork to form the roof structure, the internal fit-out in the east and west stands continues at pace.
He also spoke of how the exhaustive planning process and continued close consultation with construction partner Laing O’Rourke has allowed for the architectural intent to be largely preserved during the external construction phase, meaning the final structure and appearance of the stadium will be a near identical representation of stadium architect Dan Meis’ approved concept design.
Chong also confirmed that allowances that were factored into the Club’s planning permission around wind and environmental factors have been proven to be accurate following a period of testing, and that conversations are ongoing with Liverpool City Council and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority over the potential use of the now restored grade II listed hydraulic tower.
The construction update was followed by a discussion focusing on the process by which Everton will move from Goodison to its new home once construction is complete. This will include the requirement for the Club to host a series of test events at which all stadium systems, technology and emergency protocols will be tested in order for the required licensing agreements for the venue to be obtained.
An explanation of how the Club will use data from an ongoing series of fan surveys to inform decision-making around areas including the migration of Season Ticket Members from Goodison to Everton Stadium, food and beverage offerings, and matchday entertainment, was provided by Mike Gittins, the Club's Senior Manager for Data Science and Insight.
Gittins explained that a survey around technology and the digital offering at the stadium will be launched in the coming weeks, with a survey on ticketing and migration to follow later this summer. FAB members were asked to give their thoughts on questions or themes that should be considered within those surveys.
To outline the scope and objectives of the technology offering at the new stadium, Scott McLeod, Director of Communications and Engagement, presented the digital vision for Everton Stadium, including how a new-look Everton app will be used to continually enhance and personalise the matchday experience. He explained how the app, which will be powered by a cutting-edge Wi-Fi and mobile network infrastructure across the entire stadium and fan plaza, will also enable best practice emergency protocols and improve how important matchday information is communicated to fans in real time.
Contining the stadium theme, Vicky Jaycock, Head of Premium Sales for Everton Stadium, gave the group a tour of the ALL sales suite located inside the Royal Liver Building and an overview of the Club’s strategy and innovative approach to both seasonal and match-by-match lounge, restaurant and bar options at its future home.
In response to a question from the FAB, the Club reiterated that owner Farhad Moshiri has previously spoken publicly - including in an interview with the FAB in January - about his desire to find new investment for Everton but that it could not comment on recent media reports related to the matter. It added that any talks with potential investors would remain confidential until the point of completion in the best business interests of the Club.
The FAB marked the final meeting of the 2022/23 season by outlining its activity and achievements during its inaugural year. These included launching its own brand, website and social media channels to improve visibility and communication with fellow supporters, conducting online and in-person consultation sessions to gather supporter feedback, championing a fixed price for away tickets for all FA Cup fixtures, and representing Evertonians at police meetings, FA and Premier League workshops and a meeting of the Premier League fan network.
A timeline for Fan Advisory Board meetings for the 2023/24 season will be confirmed and communicated before the end of July. The next quarterly meeting between Everton and its FAB will be held in August.
To the committee summary from the meeting please click here.