Liverpool Unveils Images Of $167M Revamp Of Anfield, Set For Completion In 2016
Liverpool FC on Wednesday "released detailed images" of its proposed new £100M ($167M) Main Stand as it prepares to "submit a planning application for the redevelopment of Anfield," according to James Pearce of the LIVERPOOL ECHO. With deals to purchase the remaining nearby properties close to being completed, the club is "set to press on with their ambitious expansion plans." Liverpool will apply to the city council for planning permission this summer to "rebuild both the Main Stand and the Anfield Road Stand but phase one of the building work will involve just the Main Stand." Anfield officials hope construction for this will start in early '15 and will be completed in the summer of '16. It will add 8,500 extra seats -- taking the Main Stand capacity to nearly 21,000 and Anfield's capacity to around 54,000 for the '16-17 season. Liverpool Managing Dir Ian Ayre said, “It’s absolutely a significant step forward. With the club stepping forward on the pitch this season it’s fitting and great that we’re able to feel that we’re making progress on the stadium." If the demand for tickets is there then Liverpool "will press on with phase two of redeveloping the Anfield Road Stand, which would increase the capacity to around 59,000." Ayre: “We have fantastic support and there is massive demand for tickets. The style of football also means people are clamouring to get through the doors." With some 28,000 supporters currently on the season ticket waiting list, Liverpool "should have few problems filling a bigger stadium." The plans for the new Main Stand have been drawn up by London-based architects KSS and the club is "currently in talks with a number of potential construction partners." The £100M cost "will be partly financed by a lucrative naming rights deal for the stand with a major sponsor." However, the stadium's name "won't change" (LIVERPOOL ECHO, 4/23). Liverpool currently "lag far behind two of their main rivals in terms of matchday revenue" with ManU able to fill their 75,000 capacity Old Trafford stadium while Arsenal's Emirates Stadium holds around 60,000 (REUTERS, 4/23). Several houses would need to be demolished to complete the work, although Liverpool City Council "is already thought to have agreed deals for 67 of the 71 homes affected and could issue compulsory purchase orders for the remainder" (London GUARDIAN, 4/23).