Everton will play their first competitive fixture in their new home at Bramley-Moore Dock at the start of 2025-26, the club have announced, meaning that next season will be the last at Goodison Park.

The 52,000-plus-seater Everton Stadium is on schedule to be completed towards the end of 2024 but the club have elected not to move in halfway through the 2024-25 campaign.

Writing on his blog on evertonfc.com, Stadium Director and interim Chief Executive of Everton, Colin Chong, stressed that the decision was categorically not because of a construction delay.

“It is a Club decision driven by a combination of commercial insight, a comprehensive review of the logistics required, an analysis of the potential impact upon our football operations and, importantly, fan feedback sourced as part of our recent stadium migration survey, which was completed by almost 10,000 Evertonians,” Chong said.

Everton Stadium remains firmly on track, as scheduled, to be completed in the final weeks of 2024.

“We will need to conduct test events at our new home, which will allow us to stress-test the stadium in a number of different ways in order to obtain our Safety Certificate. It will also give Evertonians a chance to see and sample the new facilities.

“Some of our test events will involve crowds of varying capacities, while others will need to be operationally focused and only involve our own staff.

“We will, of course, provide more details on how Evertonians can get involved and register for those events in due course.”

Chong also explained that once season ticket renewals for next season has been completed, the club will begin working on the process of migrating existing season ticket holders to the new stadium in consultation with supporters and various representative groups.

“We will be working with fan groups in 2024 to test our new stadium pricing models and what an effective and fair migration process will look like,” he continued.

“The migration of fans from Goodison to Everton Stadium will, naturally, be a big task.

“Your input will help us prioritise, preserve and harness the unique atmosphere of Goodison Park as we move into our new home. It will ensure fairness in the prioritisation of Season Ticket purchasing and allow us to communicate a process that will be clearly defined and transparent for all Evertonians.

“Also, for the sake of clarity and to respond to a question that was raised in a recent fan meeting, it is the case that every 2024/25 Season Ticket Member will have the opportunity to secure a Season Ticket for the first season at Everton Stadium.

“For Evertonians who don’t have a Season Ticket, the process for Official Members on the waiting list will also be shared at the appropriate time as we continue the countdown to our first stadium move since 1892.”