Everton Stadium in all its blue hues!


First seats installed at new Everton stadium Image: Everton FC

The first seat installations have finally brought a vibrant splash of blue to the Everton Stadium in Liverpool, England (UK).

‘Everton FC’ stated that the milestone moment came on the morning of October 20th, less than 24 hours after another key moment in the project saw the final piece of steelwork hoisted into place to complete the roofing structure.

The Everton Football Club is an English football club from the City of Liverpool (UK). The club currently competes in the Premier League and have played more seasons in the top league of English football than any other team. The top-flight was founded in the year 1878.

The Goodison Park is a football stadium in the Walton area of Liverpool, England, two miles North of the City Centre. It has been the home of the Premier League club Everton F.C. since 1892 and has an all-seated capacity of 39,414. The Goodison Park has hosted more top-flight games than any other stadium in England (UK).

The 52,888-capacity Everton Stadium is a football stadium under construction on Bramley-Moore Dock in Vauxhall, Liverpool, England (UK), which will become the home ground for Everton F.C. during the 2024-2025 seasons, replacing the Goodison Park.

‘Everton FC’ further stated that the first permanent rows of blue plastic seats – which follow previous tests to assess rail seating – were fitted in the North East corner and will kickstart the next phase of the bowl development, which will see 52,888 seats positioned over the coming six months.

The installations come following detailed work that included bolting supportive handrails to the concrete terracing and then installing a seat carrier system on each individual row for the seats to sit upon.

Paul Harvey, Construction Manager for Laing O’Rourke, who is responsible for coordinating all the works within the stadium bowl, said, “We have a lot of activities that have to knit together and a lot of risk involved, so all of that needs coordinating. Although the seat installs might look like a simple operation, there are 50,000 holes to drill and a lot of safety issues, with hand-arm vibration. Bluecube, who are installing the seats – and led by our engineered safety team – have come up with a really good new method using new drill rigs and a suction system, and with some independent analysis, it’s pretty much taken away the risks of hand-arm vibration and the dangers of dust inhalation, so that’s a massive move to a different level of safety.”

He added, “The last seats will be installed around about Easter of next year. The biggest job is the drilling and in the upper tier, most of that has taken place, so that part of the stadium will change quite quickly now and hopefully, by Christmas, the whole upper tier will have blue seats in them. We can’t put the lower tier of terracing in until the roofing has finished, and with the final steelwork lift taking place on October 19th, the bigger cranes are now moving off site and we can start installing the lower tier. That should all be in place by December, at which point we can start drilling and getting the seats in.”

Laing O’Rourke is a multinational construction company headquartered in Dartford, England (UK). It was founded in 1978 by Ray O’Rourke. It is the largest privately-owned construction company in the United Kingdom.

Added Scott Blyth, Senior Supervisor for Bluecube Seating, “It’s always nice to be involved in one of the biggest stadium builds and to get that opportunity to install on a major project like this is quite an honor. It’s a multistage process that’s ahead of us. We have to start with the handrails and once they are all fitted, we get the rails in and then ensure we can fit in the right number of seats per row. It’s also quite a logistical and physical challenge to get all of the seats up and down the stairs, and my job is making sure the progress runs correctly and that we are hitting our targets on time. With just-in-time deliveries, we are starting to look at two containers per week and each container holds 1,800 seats so that’s 3,600 seats per week getting delivered now, each week, until the end of the project.”

London (UK)-based Bluecube is a seating company that specializes in public sector seating. They offer indoor and outdoor stadium seating made from 100 percent recyclable polymer.

The installation team, which includes a number of local workers, aim to fit around 500 seats per day, in a staggered process over the coming months.

And it was a proud moment for Laing O’Rourke employee Abbigail Green, whose role as the Social Value Manager is to drive social value to meet the targets of the project, including encouraging and championing local employment, engaging with the local educational institutes, organizing apprenticeships, work placements, and much more.

Green, who is also training to be a Construction Manager, was invited to be the first person to sit in the stadium.

She said, “It’s an amazing day really. If you think back 117 weeks ago this was a dock, and now we are in the top tier installing the first seat, so it’s a really big achievement for the project. The social value role means that when you plan a project, you have to look to local employment, apprentices, engagements with education partners, and all other social aspects. The local people have been involved in this project throughout and I’ve engaged with Everton in the Community and Liverpool In Work, who are the skills and employment team at the Liverpool City Council, to ensure that the local people are getting jobs. The same applies in terms of apprentices, the project team and supply chain, we’ve been given targets in terms of local employment and apprentices and, at the moment, we have 100 apprentices working on the stadium project, which is fantastic.”

There was a second significant development on site recently as the final section of roofing was lifted into position.

The final rafter tip was installed at the South end of the East Stand, 11 months after the first piece of roofing steelwork was installed and just 18 months since the first steel column was erected on site.

Work will now accelerate to add the final coverings to the roof, which is already close to completion on the North Stand.

Stated Steve Farden, Structural Steel Lead for Laing O’Rourke, “It’s been a fantastic 24 hours and this week is a real milestone for the project. To see that last piece of structural steel go in yesterday (October 19th) was so proud of the team. It still feels like yesterday when the first pieces of steelwork was going in and look at what we’ve achieved since. All that’s left now is to tie in six or seven infill pieces, which tie the movement joint between the East and South Stands. Structurally, that’s the roof then complete. It can stand up on its own and we can start decking it and doing the waterproofing works. It’s great that we have so many local people working here and a credit to the whole team that it feels like every week there is some sort of milestone. “It’s going to be a fantastic arena, great for football, great for football and great for Everton.”

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