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Volume 7 No. 149

Facilities

Liverpool has 11 months to finalize a redevelopment plan for the Anfield Road End.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Liverpool is "considering expanding the Anfield Road End by 6,000 seats," which would take the stadium's capacity to more than 60,000, according to John Hutchinson of THE SUN. But the club has just 11 months to finalize the redevelopment plan, which was first put forward earlier this year. Liverpool owner Fenway Sports Group increased the Anfield capacity to more than 54,000 when it "built up" the Main Stand. That added 8,500 seats, which generated an extra £12M in matchday income. With demand "currently outweighing supply for match tickets, there is scope for further stadium development" (THE SUN, 10/15). In Liverpool, Houghton & Doyle reported Liverpool outlined planning permission to extend the Anfield Road End that is valid until Sept. '19. CEO Peter Moore said that the club is "now looking closely at whether that plan still works or whether it needs to be revised." He said, "We are looking at a range of options to ensure we have considered all aspects before making any decision. These include working up design, feasibility, cost, capacity and economic viability options." Liverpool is moving ahead with plans to bring more cultural and sporting events to Anfield. Moore said that the goal is to make Anfield "a year-round destination" (LIVERPOOL ECHO, 10/15).

A new $450M, 12,000-seat tennis arena that was scheduled to host next October's season-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen, China, "will not be constructed in time," according to Daniel Kaplan of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Instead, the WTA in '19 will play in the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center, a multipurpose stadium used "primarily" for table tennis, swimming and football. The WTA in January announced "to great fanfare" a new $1B real estate development deal in the heart of Shenzhen, including the arena and a 10-year commitment for the finals. WTA President Micky Lawler said, "It was always a likelihood the venue would not be ready until 2020. There are shops currently that have to be torn down and reintegrated into the new facility." Lawler added that the Shenzhen Bay venue is hosting a basketball competition three weeks before the finals, "so a lot of preparation needs to occur to be ready for the transition of the arena during those interim weeks" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/15 issue).