In the midst of all the transfer excitement, Everton fans haven’t quite forgotten that there is a new stadium that is coming their way soon too. Bramley-Moore architect Dan Meis is quite a vocal presence on Twitter and enjoys interacting with the fans, taking the hundreds of tweets that come his way asking about the design in his stride.
One of the pressing concerns about the new stadium has been whether there will be a running track in it or not, primarily due to the fact that the city was contemplating a bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Blues saw the total lack of atmosphere at West Ham United’s London Stadium and were turned off by how far the seating arrangement placed the fans from the action on the pitch, and this has turned into a primary concern for the new stadium.
While Everton have formally asked fans for their input to the new design, that hasn’t stopped fans from directly placing their requests with Mr. Meis online -
@Meisarch please don't put a running track around the new stadium— Dean Heron (@Deanoheron) June 16, 2017
We need a roof though, Everton has a history of being first and no other PL club has one. Colts stadium, Texans, etc. Beautiful facilities.— Tortured Toffee (@torturedtoffee) June 15, 2017
To his immense credit, the architect has been very patient with the fans and has time and again stated and restated his intent is to ensure that the atmosphere of Goodison Park, which can be a bear-pit at times, will be carried into the new facilities.
However, in his latest conversations, he did mention two very key design elements that are worth noting - firstly, he is not a fan of having a roof over the stadium.
I honestly don't understand the desire for a roof. It would be seldom used and cost far more than a handful of great strikers.— danmeis (@Meisarch) June 15, 2017
I want great natural turf and a view to the sky...buy a scarf...a blue one..and a warm jacket— danmeis (@Meisarch) June 15, 2017
He even mentioned that a big part of the Goodison-like environment would come from the fans themselves, and their level of engagement would determine the atmosphere.
The canopy does that...and, more importantly, passionate, engaged fans focused on the pitch rather than the cheese selection— danmeis (@Meisarch) June 15, 2017
The second hint, and this one remains a sore spot for many fans, is the presence of a running track. The advances in stadium design, as can be seen from this video below, allow for retractable first tier seating that will cover the athletics track for football games and then be pulled back as needed when the stadium is used for other purposes.
Like the Singapore Sports Hub shown above, Scotland’s national stadium at Hampden Park was also repurposed as an athletics stadium in 2014, coincidentally for the Commonwealth Games as well.
Here are Mr. Meis’ comments on having a track, and the effect on the distance of the fans from the pitch -
It is possible to accommodate a temporary track for CWG, but we will NOT compromise proximity, intimacy or atmosphere for football.— danmeis (@Meisarch) June 16, 2017
No worries, it can be done without affecting the intimacy or proximity. Please trust, we will protect.— danmeis (@Meisarch) June 16, 2017
It is, but affected schedule. There are better ways, key is to avoid any compromise to football criteria. I am completely committed to that— danmeis (@Meisarch) June 16, 2017
While there is still no timeline on when the first designs will be released to the public, Mr. Meis called for patience as he and his team continue to do their due diligence.
A bit longer..we want to insure that what we show is what the fans will get. There are complex historic/site issues and we want a design 1/2— danmeis (@Meisarch) June 16, 2017
2/2 that will stand up to the incredible legacy of Goodison. No interest in flashy renderings we are building a new home for a historic club— danmeis (@Meisarch) June 16, 2017
It will hopefully stand for another 100+ years...be the pride of Evertonians and an unparalleled home pitch advantage— danmeis (@Meisarch) June 16, 2017
From his sincere comments, Blues can rest easy that Mr. Meis is going to stick to his brief of his designing a new home for Everton that will replicate the best features of Goodison Park while at the same time taking this great club forward into a bold and bright future without compromising any of the ideals that make us who we are - the People’s Club, first and foremost.
With that said, we can’t wait to see the first sketches and mock-ups of the new Bramley-Moore Stadium!