By late august Anfield will grow to 53,800 people, becoming England’s fifth largest stadium. But main stand’s expansion will last much longer for the club…
Liverpool FC played their last home fixture of the season on May 11, against Chelsea. When fans return this summer, they’re in for a huge change. Right after the final game seat removal began in the old main stand, followed by dismantling of the roof.
Before the 2016/17 Premier League season the old structure will be connected with new one being built right behind it. To have enough time, LFC have already applied to play their first game away from home. Ironically, Liverpool will benefit from their failure to qualify for European competitions, leaving the stadium unused until late August. As you can see from the photo below, there’s a lot of work to be carried out in just 3 months…
Final delivery only in 2017
While the stand will be opened in late August, increasing capacity to some 53,800 fans, work inside it will go on until early 2017. For the first half year players, referees and delegates will have to use temporary facilities.
Along LFC’s planning application, the stadium was to retain its current player entry tunnel, which isn’t located centrally. After amendments it will look like in the rendering below, right at the halfway line. This and further changes forced the delay in delivery of crucial rooms.
Containers instead of retail store
The new western stand is gaining colour now as red bricks and glass are covering most of the structure’s exterior. But the outer appearance would be spoiled for the next year by construction ongoing just south of the stadium, next to The Kop. This is where Liverpool’s retail store will be, yet to see groundbreaking.
Since the store won’t be ready before the 2017/18 campaign, Liverpool are applying for approval to build a temporary container complex. Very fitting with the stadium’s industrial décor, these 15 shipping containers would house catering and merchandise kiosks as well as a small event stage and an LFC TV studio. All the facilities would be properly decorated with club graphics until the permanent store’s construction ends behind them.
Further expansion yet to be confirmed
As you surely recall, Liverpool applied for the main stand expansion and, at the same time, was granted outline permission for the new north stand. Outline means that detailed documentation would still be required, but the concept of an expanded Anfield Road Stand is approved in general.
As we’re nearing the delivery of new main stand, many fans are surely curious when the stadium could grow to almost 59,000 seats. However, at this point the club hasn’t specified the second phase’s time frame.