Goodison Park has undergone a summer makeover with Evertonians set to notice a host of improvements when they return for the Blues’ first home game next week.
Both inside and outside the stadium, significant work has been undertaken to upgrade Goodison and get ready for another memorable season under Roberto Martinez.
Incidentally, the Blues’ boss is the subject of one of the major changes that supporters will spot on their approach to the stadium, as he kicks off a new brand campaign on the Park End stand.
A striking image of Martinez, alongside his own slant on the famous Club motto, has been erected as the first in a series of images that will be displayed on the side of the stadium.
The new installation allows images to be backlit and changed to support the Club’s biggest campaigns throughout the year, including the sale of Season Tickets and kit launches.
And that’s not the only sign that has been changed, with a major operation being undertaken to remove previous versions of the crest and roll out the 2014/15 fan-chosen badge throughout the stadium.
Meanwhile, one of the biggest projects of the summer has been the installation of an improved floodlight system to meet new Premier League and UEFA standards.
Supporters will notice much brighter lighting for night games at Goodison Park and it’s to enable the TV cameras to provide the highest quality coverage of the Blues.
The previous floodlights flickered on and off, undetectable to the human eye but picked up by television cameras, so the improved system will provide viewers with a clearer view of all the action on the pitch.
Work has also been undertaken to reveal Goodison architect Archibold Leitch’s trademark design on the Gwladys Street.
The famous architecture could already be seen on the Bullens Road but a decision was taken to restore this interesting piece of Everton history on the Gwladys too.
A host of other areas have also been revamped, including:
Various hospitality lounges
Dressing room areas
Toilets in the Lower Bullens concourses
Extension of the main television gantry to allow more broadcasters’ matchday access
And new pitch perimeter LED boards have been installed.
It’s also been the first season that the Club has been able to reap the rewards of the new Desso pitch that was installed last summer, with the ground staff carrying out a simpler maintenance schedule to ensure the Goodison turf remains at the highest standard.
Speaking about the summer upgrade, Everton’s Chief Executive Officer Robert Elstone said: “We continue, as we do every close season, to do lots and lots of work on the stadium. With the new television money, we’ve been give more options than we had a few years ago when finances were tighter so there’s been big improvements across the board and lots of improvements to concourse and branding specifically.
“The most expensive improvement might be something that fans don’t see that often, which is state-of-the-art floodlights. We’ve invested in our floodlights, as we’ve had to do because of European football and new Premier League broadcaster regulations, so I’m hoping they’re going to be very bright and make night-time football at Goodison crystal clear.
“We will continue to look at how we can improve Goodison. It’s all part of our initiative to make matchdays more memorable so Fan Zone enhancement and activities on matchdays will continue to be a big priority for us too.”