English city of Liverpool is a true Mecca for football fans. The Australian Liverpool… isn’t. But it’s a growing and ambitious city which now hopes to draw a franchise of LFC to an ultramodern stadium.
It’s a story so unusual, we didn’t treat it as a viable option when we first read about it back in October. But just a day ago an update was released by The Daily Telegraph and it might be on the table after all.
In short: Liverpool, city west of Sydney, want to bring Liverpool FC to settle in town. Of course not the original club, especially with Anfield’s revamp, but an Australian franchise. It might work similarly to the relation between Manchester City and New York City.
LFC have many fans among Australians, so the potential fanbase is there and identical city naming is a start. One good enough to make the city of Liverpool to actually consider building a new stadium and drawing LFC to Australia.
The city is growing rapidly, expected to leap from 200,000 to 300,000 inhabitants within 15 years. With the broader Sydney metropolitan area that’s a market worth fighting for, especially since the New South Wales government set aside a big chunk of taxpayer money for premium sports infrastructure.
Partnership with Liverpool FC could mean a ticket demand sufficient to secure a new stadium’s season-long use for football. The city presented a plan to build a 30,000-capacity venue, but not one with one sport in mind. The stadium would have both a retractable roof and field sliding out, making concerts, indoor sports or even exhibitions part of the calendar.
As if this wasn’t a worthy option for Liverpool FC, the club wouldn’t have to pay for the stadium. A third of the precinct’s entire budget of $600 million (US$370m) would be secured by New South Wales, while the remainder could be raised via land sales and private developers investing in the precinct.
And while it still sounds unbelievably, Mayor Ned Mannoun has already confirmed he met with the Premier League side’s officials and they’re “open to the idea”. Which is exactly why we decided to present the idea to you today.