Robert Elstone, chief executive of top-flight English soccer side Everton, has admitted that costs for the Premier League club’s proposed new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock have “escalated significantly”.
The Toffees agreed a 200-year lease on the site in November last year, concluding their search for a new location to replace Goodison Park, which has been the team’s home for 125 years.
The stadium was initially expected to cost in excess of UK£300 million (US$400,000 million), but Elstone has revealed that the project is set to cost much more, with the club’s move now planned for the beginning of the 2022/23 season.
Elstone said that preparatory works, the premium for the Bramley Dock site, an ambitious stadium capacity, and inflation had all contributed to the rising costs, but added that the club expect to get some of that additional expense back through sponsorship, naming rights, and increased ticket sales.
“That funding target has escalated significantly and has occupied much of our efforts of the past 12 months,” said Elstone. “The premium for the waterfront site, an ambitious capacity that we will test with more rigour, a design we can all be proud of, and the simple but painful impact of inflation, have all contributed to an increased overall cost and a funding target which continues to grow.
“It's a challenge that has always had the full support of Liverpool City Council and throughout 2017 we have been totally committed to finding a funding arrangement that works for the club and the city.
“Whilst the cost and related preparatory works add a one-fifth premium to the cost of the Bramley Moore Dock site, we believe that the commercial returns from naming rights, sponsorship, higher attendances and greater use on non-matchdays will recoup that premium.
“Our planning case will be enhanced with impressive legacy plans for our existing home at Goodison Park. Our hope, and our target, is the opening game of the 2022/23 season.”