Everton have just submitted plans for a brand new stadium in the Liverpool docklands to be built by the 2023/2024 season. This means they might have to say goodbye to beloved Goodison Park.
Goodison Park was built for Everton in 1892, over 126 years ago, which is quite astonishing. The original construction cost of the ground was only £3,000, another eye popping statistic. While the historic stadium only has a capacity of 39,221, on the 18th of September in 1948, they had a record attendance in the Merseyside Derby against Liverpool where 78,299 turned up for the match.
While these all seem like rather meaningless stats, they mean a lot to the Blues in Liverpool. Much like when Tottenham said goodbye to White Hart Lane, it is a process of leaving all those stories and memories behind in the rubble. While their new stadium will be state-of-the-art and will host more people than ever before, it is always sad when a club loses their once hallowed stands.
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According to The Guardian, these are some of the details of the new complex,
"One of the most striking features of the new 52,000-capacity stadium, apart from an unmistakable presence on the waterfront skyline, will be a steep bank of seats behind one of the goals. Unashamedly modelling itself on Borussia Dortmund’s Yellow Wall, Everton hope the 13,000-seat South Stand will take off in public imagination as the Blue Wave."
The article also claims the project will cost just over £500 million and will be erected in 2020, taking three full years to build. Coming from a Liverpool fan at heart, it will be tough to see Goodison go. I have a very limited memory only going back a decade or so, but still, have so many memories of watching the derby’s there on the television. I cannot fathom how some of the Everton faithful must be feeling.
While fans are split about the decision, the move to a new ground will surely deliver some even bigger and better derby’s than before, which is hard to imagine. Filling up a stadium that size every game will also give Evertonians the chance to really claim their title as “The People’s Club” in Liverpool.