Liverpool: “No one has ever addressed whether or not a new stadium is rational”

source: TheAnfieldWrap.com

Liverpool: “No one has ever addressed whether or not a new stadium is rational” LFC owner John W. Henry gave a complex answer to TheAnfieldWrap.com about the plan for future stadium. Managing to evade the key (when will a decision be made), Henry speaks of pros and cons of both new ground and Anfield revamp.

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As much as new stadiums are a great deal, they have to be publicly-funded to really be that good. John W. Henry: “But privately carrying new stadiums is an enormous challenge. Arsenal is centered in a very wealthy city with a metropolitan population of approximately 14 million people.

“They did a tremendous job of carrying it off on a number of levels. But how many new football stadiums with more than 30,000 seats have been built in the UK over the past decade or so?  I’m sure every club would like to move to a new facility.

“We’ve been exploring a new stadium for the past 18 months. At one point we made it clear that if a naming rights deal could be secured of sufficient size, we would make every effort to build a new facility.

”It is often said that for Liverpool to compete in match-day revenue with United, Arsenal and Chelsea, we need a new stadium. But you can see that the £50 or £60 million differences stem as much from revenue per seat as from the number of seats. Even if Liverpool were able to get to 60,000 seats, there would have to be an increase from £900 to £1550 in revenue per seat as well to catch Arsenal.

“If Anfield yielded £1550 per seat, without adding seats, LFC match-day revenue would rise from £41M to £71M. That would be the same as building a new stadium with 60,000 seats or increasing seating at Anfield and increasing revenue per seat to £1170.

“There also is this feeling that if you add concessions and amenities such as Arsenal did at Emirates, your “per-cap” (how much is spent on concessions per person) goes way up, but the last time we checked the per-cap at Emirates was only £0.50 higher.

“The allure of a new stadium and/or refurbishment is no different at Anfield then it is anywhere in the world. New stadiums increase revenues primarily by raising ticket prices – especially premium seating.

“In America, as an example, 3 NFL (American football) clubs have moved into new stadiums over the past 3 years. The New York Jets average ticket price rose by 32% when they moved into their new stadium. The New York Giants rose by 26% and the Dallas Cowboys rose by 31%. In baseball, ticket prices rose 76% when the New York Yankees moved into their new stadium 3 years ago.

“At Emirates Stadium match-day revenues rose 96% the first year while seats had increased 57%.

“Building new or refurbishing Anfield is going to lead to an increase from £40M of match-day revenue to perhaps £60-70M if you don’t factor in debt service.“That would certainly help, but it’s just one component of LFC long-term fortunes. Our future is based not on a stadium issue but on building a strong football club that can compete with anyone in Europe.

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