Everton Football Club has confirmed its new £500 million stadium will be finished by the end of 2024.
It comes as main contractor Laing O’Rourke recently topped out at the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool, more than 20 months since work began.
Interim chief executive officer and chief stadium development officer, Colin Chong, said “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.”
He added: “Contrary to some ill-informed media reports, there is no delay, and the project remains firmly on track and on schedule.”
Started in 2021, development began with backfilling Bramley-Moore Dock with sand dredged from the Irish Sea.
It falls within Liverpool Waters, a major regeneration scheme spanning nearly 30 years and costing more than £5 billion.
Stadium architecture specialists MEIS and BDP designed the new venue to accommodate spectator capacity of nearly 53,000.
In the past year, all four stands were built to full height, new terracing and roof trusses have been lifted into place, brick panelling has been installed, and mechanical, engineering and plumbing (MEP) fit-outs have got underway.
Next in the construction programme, as the barrel roof is installed, new rooms, concourses, bars and restaurants will be created in the west and east stands.
Chong said while an exact finish date has “never been publicly set by the club”, the project is “several weeks ahead of schedule”, and he expects Laing O’Rourke to hand over the keys during the 2024/25 season.
However, the new stadium must also go through rigorous build testing before fans can occupy it. Chong said these tests will take place in the final months of 2024 – meaning the club will not be starting the 2024/25 season at Everton Stadium.
Earlier in June, it was revealed Laing O’Rourke will not deliver the £300 million expansion of Etihad Stadium on behalf of Manchester City Football Club (MCFC).
It is understood preliminary talks between the club and Laing O’Rourke, the original builder of the stadium, did take place, however they were not taken any further.
“The scale of progress in the past 12 months has been staggering and that is testament to the planning, commitment, professionalism and ingenuity of our trusted construction partners, Laing O’Rourke and their partnership with the hard-working staff here at Everton,” said Chong.
“Myself, and colleagues across the club, will continue to work in lockstep with Laing O’Rourke to complete what will undoubtedly be one of the best – and the most sustainable – football stadiums in the country.”
If the project remains on schedule, competitive league games for the senior men’s team could occur at the start of the 2025/26 season.
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