Today’s 2016 Summit kick off has set the bar for a truly world-class event over the next 3 days. 150+ of our delegates joined project teams from Everton FC’s recent off-season makeover and Liverpool FC’s stunning new Main Stand for a full day of expert briefings and bespoke tours – we called it the Merseyside Derby.
In partnership with our host venues, Anfield Stadium and Goodison Park, we spent the day visiting the two sites and, catching up with a number of delegates afterwards, it’s clear that the general feeling was that something very special was experienced at both iconic venues.
The morning was spent with the Blues – with a great opening briefing by John Maher, Condy Loft House Architects, who led the recent makeover project. The face lift was about so much more than just good lighting, although the ‘halo’ objective has certainly been satisfied, as the aesthetics of the stadium has been considered from every single angle in each surrounding road.
Head of Stadium Operations, Alan Bowen, had an honest Q&A with Ian about his 34 years experience in the role, and why the planned new stadium is so important (despite what nay-sayers may think). Alan commented:
“With the current facilities we just cannot provide the type of customer experience that we want to provide, and that our supporters deserve at a modern day game”.
When asked ‘what one thing will you miss and what one thing won’t you miss when Everton move?’ Alan laughed and said he couldn’t possibly choose just one thing he will miss, but that he most definitely won’t miss the catering arrangements on the concourse – for the sake of staff and supporters.
The highlight of the morning was the entrance of three of Everton’s Legends; Graeme Sharp, Ian Snodin and Graeme Stuart. The three icons led our delegates on a unique and personalised tour – offering changing room gossip and memories of the ‘good ol’ days’. It really was an honour to listen to the history of the venue from someone who truly lived, breathed and bled for the Blues and a lingering feeling of true, honest heart and community was felt in the wake of the visit.
From the #TDS16 team, we would like to express our thanks to Everton FC, Condy Loft House Architects as well as Graeme, Graeme and Ian for hosting such a memorable tour morning. Until next year…