Liverpool’s decision on whether to redevelop their existing Anfield stadium, or relocate to nearby Stanley Park, could still be some way off.
When Fenway Sports Group, formerly New England Sports Ventures, took over the Reds in October 2010 their preference was to remain at Anfield and improve the famous stadium and increase capacity – much like they have done with the Boston Red Sox’s Fenway Park Stadium – but planning constraints and economic factors have delayed the decision and made a new stadium in Stanley Park the more likely outcome.
Speaking at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress being held in the city managing director Ian Ayre discussed the importance of taking the correct financial approach in solving the ground issue:
“It is about finding the right solution that keeps the great heritage experience and atmosphere and finding the right thing for the future. It’s not so easy a challenge.
“We have to have the right economic model. Our sweet spot is around 60,000 to 65,000 because we don’t want empty seats. We already have 46,000 seats and those extra 20,000 seats are not going to generate hundreds of millions.
“People are more interested in what happens on the pitch [but] it’s not to say that the other things are not important. If it meant we were writing cheques for that rather than the team, people will ask why.”
Earlier this year it was reported that FSG had re-opened old plans for a new stadium in Stanley Park, and Ayre has admitted that naming rights partners are being sourced should the new stadium go ahead.