Liverpool FC set readiness to resume the procedure for the Anfield Road Stand development. After being forced to delay work amid the coronavirus crisis, £60 million upgrade will deliver around 7,000 extra seats, up to 61,000.
According to news from LFC, the club will submit a planning application for the proposed Anfield Road Stand expansion. Necessary documents should be delivered to the Liverpool City Council even this week.
If given the green light, it would increase the capacity of the stadium up to 61,000, including extra 5,200 general admission seats and 1,800 for hospitality. The new 16,000-seater tribune will be an answer for the huge demand for tickets to see the best team in the last season of the Premier League. As of now 23,000 people are on the season ticket waiting list. The council is expected to make a final decision in the spring 2021.
Rebuilding completely one of the most iconic stadiums in England would take Fenway Sports Group's spending on infrastructure of the club beyond the £200 million mark. So far, LFC’s owners have invested £110 million in Main Stand redevelopment in 2016 and £50 million in the new AXA Training Centre at Kirkby, which officially opened last month. Further costs of the Anfield Road Stand are estimated at £60 million (€67m).
COVID-19 impact and hope for the 2023/24 season
Counting the negative effects of the lockdown might never end. It also refers to the sport business and event organizing, touching the club plans. The whole process was originally raised at the end of last year, with a two-stage consultation with local residents, businesses, fans and stakeholders. Unfortunately, the planning was stopped in March at the onset of the first coronavirus lockdown, following a series of delays related to the COVID-19 circumstances.
We have experienced a number of delays to the planned project as a direct result of the COVID-19 lockdown. said Liverpool's managing director Andy Hughes.
Currently plans are back underway. The scope of the project requires two summers for construction work, giving the potential opening for the 2023/24 season. Of course, following the scenario that the works were to begin at the end of 2021, of course.
Hughes also added:
The complex build programme for Anfield Road stand is an 18 month process and needs two clear summer closed season windows in order for it to be successful. This is why we could complete the programme in summer 2023 rather than summer 2022 as originally planned.
Anfield not only for football
As part of the application, the club is also seeking permanent permission to organize concerts and major entertainment events at the stadium. Already in 2018, The Reds obtained temporary approval for Anfield to accommodate music concerts and major sporting fixtures for the two years.
The application forms part of the club's plans to offer more cultural and sporting events to its supporters, the city of Liverpool and those visiting the area.
Andy Hughes, managing director at Liverpool FC, explained:
Expanding the use of the stadium for concerts and other events will help draw additional visitors to the local area and city, provide more local jobs, increase revenue for local businesses and promote Anfield as a tourist destination.
You’ll never walk alone!
Author: Karol Tatar