Homepage Update: A personal take on the Dan Meis Workshops...

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AndyC

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AndyC submitted an update to GrandOldTeam's homepage

A personal take on the Dan Meis Workshops...



BMD – and roll on Season 22/23

American architect Dan Meis was on Merseyside this week conducting a series of Supporter Workshops in relation to the Bramley Moore Dock stadium project and the overriding consensus of opinion seems to be that they were a resounding success.

Meis, and his two associates Frank and Mario, presented concept designs – not the finalised plans - for the new stadium at BMD and spent time explaining many of the issues they’re having to deal with in order to provide Everton with a new home in time for the 2022/23 season.


Profile and birds-eye views of how the new concept might fit onto the footprint of BMD and in relation to other club stadia were presented and of course, the somewhat sensitive and emotional subject of the eventual crowd capacity was broached.

Dan Meis referred to a ‘magic number’ that many supporters take to be the 61,878 that has been championed on umpteen forums and social media platforms. But, he also suggested that his preference might be for a lower number, somewhere between 55,000 and the 60,000 threshold that many, including myself, see as the absolute minimum. If Everton are genuinely to compete in capacity terms with a peer group of clubs comprising Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and even West Ham, then notions of less than 60,000 surely have to be discounted?

His saying that made me wonder whether his enthusiasm for BMD had been tempered by more cautious, reserved, safety-first elements currently within the club?

Of that list, Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham will all have 60,000 plus stadia for next season, Chelsea have plans to rebuild Stamford Bridge to accommodate that number while both Liverpool and City have plans to further expand capacity at Anfield and the Etihad respectively. Way out in front in terms of capacity are of course Manchester United, and many fans are firmly of the opinion that if Everton are to compete in the future, we simply have to be part of the 60,000 club.

Adding weight to the argument for 60,000 or more for BMD right from the outset were the statements from Dan Meis that a. the stadium when completed will not be liable for future expansion and b. if safe standing areas are incorporated immediately or in the future, they will be on a 1:1 ration i.e. no capability to increase capacity along the lines of clubs in Germany like Dortmund where safe standing has been implemented on a 1:1.7 ratio.



The build therefore for BMD has to be understood to be a one-time opportunity for the club to hopefully push for and build to the maximum possible capacity. With the ticket pricing policies that Everton have adopted and are looking to maintain for some time, to my mind at least, a capacity of 60,000 (or as many more as possible) will be key to maintaining these policies and stalling on future price rises.

The profile drawings showed that BMD will be an imposing stadium, with steep stands and a proximity to the pitch that should engender an aggressive, intimidating atmosphere, and a substantial ‘home wall’ at the south end of the stadium.

Throughout his presentation, one couldn’t help but agree with sentiments expressed previously that Dan Meis ‘gets’ Everton and is fully committed to building a new home for the club that everyone will be fully relate to. He enthused about the effect attending games at Goodison had had upon him and how designing and building a new stadium to respect the heritage of the Grand Old Lady was absolutely uppermost in his thinking.

It was this enthusiasm for Goodison and the special atmosphere and feelings it can and does create for Evertonians that got me thinking about his ‘getting’ Everton.

Now I don’t know precisely how many and which games Dan Meis and his associates have attended at Goodison, but I would bet good money that none of the games they’ve attended have had anything remotely close or even similar to the Bayern Munich semi-final atmosphere, or the Fiorentina atmosphere or the Dan Gosling extra-time cup-tie winner against the RS atmosphere… to name just three of the best atmospheres I’ve personally experienced at Goodison.

Imagine if Dan Meis had witnessed any of those games and atmospheres. Any doubts he (and indeed others) may have about our ability to pack out BMD and create the kind of atmosphere he yearns to incorporate would be instantly dispelled.

Dan Meis suggested very strongly that the final plans and designs will be available for release in the fairly short future, just a mater of weeks and his referring to a ‘magic number’ on more than one occasion during the presentation I attended left me extremely hopeful that his more measured capacity numbers will be surpassed to at least 60,000 and ideally 61,878.

The other major impression that Dan Meis left upon myself is that he’s not designing and building a soulless bowl stadium that can handle football, concerts and lots of other events. It struck me that first and absolutely foremost he’s designing and building a bespoke football ground, a new home for Everton Football Club, and in the fullness of time, if concerts and other events can be staged there, all well and good, but BMD will be primarily for Everton and it’s supporters to call ‘Home’ for the foreseeable and hopefully glorious future.


I left St.Johns Church enthused and very quietly confident that not only have Everton employed the right guy to design and build BMD, but that he perhaps ‘gets’ Everton even more than he actually admits to and our dreams of a ‘magic number’ capacity will be realised.

Fingers crossed and here’s to season 22/23.

Come on you Blues !!!!
 

Bluebonic

Player Valuation: £15m
#3
I am a little puzzled at to the thinking that we have to have a 60,000 plus stadium to compete with the ‘top 6’? I was under the impression that gate receipts were more or less insignificant nowadays, as all meaningful revenue comes from TV rights.
I am wrong in this (I am usually wrong, so I wont be hurt if I am) or is the 60,000 plus stadium more of a status thing? I dont personally have a preference provided the new stadium looks the dangly bits, is comfortable,has bogs that work and offers refreshment of a slightly higher quality than warm beer, scalding bovril or grease laden foor long hot dogs and sausage rolls! (The meat pies are nice though, but hotter than the surface of the sun).
 

SerenityNigh

Player Valuation: £70m
#4
Well said. Only comment I have to that is that if “final plans” are indeed due soon, the capacity issue isn’t up for debate. I suspect we’ll see draft (or progress) plans, and even then there may be little room left for debating capacity.
 

Hickson9

Player Valuation: £6m
#5
I am a little puzzled at to the thinking that we have to have a 60,000 plus stadium to compete with the ‘top 6’? I was under the impression that gate receipts were more or less insignificant nowadays, as all meaningful revenue comes from TV rights.
I am wrong in this (I am usually wrong, so I wont be hurt if I am) or is the 60,000 plus stadium more of a status thing? I dont personally have a preference provided the new stadium looks the dangly bits, is comfortable,has bogs that work and offers refreshment of a slightly higher quality than warm beer, scalding bovril or grease laden foor long hot dogs and sausage rolls! (The meat pies are nice though, but hotter than the surface of the sun).
Perception matters.
 

AndyC

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#6
I am a little puzzled at to the thinking that we have to have a 60,000 plus stadium to compete with the ‘top 6’? I was under the impression that gate receipts were more or less insignificant nowadays, as all meaningful revenue comes from TV rights.
I am wrong in this (I am usually wrong, so I wont be hurt if I am) or is the 60,000 plus stadium more of a status thing? I dont personally have a preference provided the new stadium looks the dangly bits, is comfortable,has bogs that work and offers refreshment of a slightly higher quality than warm beer, scalding bovril or grease laden foor long hot dogs and sausage rolls! (The meat pies are nice though, but hotter than the surface of the sun).
My take on the need for 60,000 is twofold...
Firstly, if we build less than that, simply in terms of capacity we'd be behind... Arsenal, Chelsea (when Stamford Bridge is rebuilt), City (when the Etihad is expanded further), the RS (when the pit is expanded further), Untied, Spurs and West Ham... i.e. we'd be the 8th biggest on capacity and that to me is unacceptable.
Secondly, if we are to retain the current ticket pricing policies, I think we need to build as big a capacity as possible. If we build 52,000 as some are suggesting they'd be happy with, then inevitably ticket prices will rise in a shorter time scale due to ticket scarcity... demand would almost certainly see prices raised sooner rather than later.
In my opinion...
 

Ste__R

Player Valuation: £150k
#9
I read that if 52,000 then taking into account the repayment loans it will generate £1 million a year than Goodison does now.

Seems a lot of effort little reward.

60,000 would take income up to £20 million a year at least.
 

WA Toffee

Player Valuation: £30m
#10
My take on the need for 60,000 is twofold...
Firstly, if we build less than that, simply in terms of capacity we'd be behind... Arsenal, Chelsea (when Stamford Bridge is rebuilt), City (when the Etihad is expanded further), the RS (when the pit is expanded further), Untied, Spurs and West Ham... i.e. we'd be the 8th biggest on capacity and that to me is unacceptable.
Secondly, if we are to retain the current ticket pricing policies, I think we need to build as big a capacity as possible. If we build 52,000 as some are suggesting they'd be happy with, then inevitably ticket prices will rise in a shorter time scale due to ticket scarcity... demand would almost certainly see prices raised sooner rather than later.
In my opinion...
Your second paragraph I can take as a valid argument for a larger capacity. You’re first is just willy waving.
 

mkrudden

Player Valuation: £40m
#11
I don't understand this obsession for 60k.

It's about vanity, I can only imagine. "Well they have a 60k capacity so we should have it".

If we have a 55k stadium, unparalleled atmospheric games which the TV agencies love (the money people), good corporate seating and enough seats that we can satisfy demand AND be near enough capacity every week with Evertonians... Why does it matter that Utd have more? The place is a ghost town full of tourists.
 

SerenityNigh

Player Valuation: £70m
#14
I read that if 52,000 then taking into account the repayment loans it will generate £1 million a year than Goodison does now.

Seems a lot of effort little reward.

60,000 would take income up to £20 million a year at least.
Not that I'm in the 52,000 camp, but that's ignoring the long term capital needs of a place like Goodison. Revenues may not be drastically different, but expenses sure are.

Plus venue, etc.
 

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