How Anfield redevelopment plans could look for Liverpool FC.
Reports this weekend suggest that Monday will see an announcement from the City Council regarding Anfield regeneration and possibly Liverpool show their intentions to redevelop Anfield rather than move to a new stadium in Stanley Park.
This has led to much discussion on how a redeveloped Anfield could look.
When FSG purchased Liverpool FC, two years ago on Monday, they did so with a ‘guarantee’ to provide a 60,000 seater stadium – either by means of redevelopment, or a new stadium in Stanley Park. This was detailed by temporary chairman Martin Broughton at the time of the high-profile sale.
Over the past two years FSG have been exploring both options extensively. They have expressed their belief that there is a ‘myth’ surrounding a newly built stadium, and have admitted that a new stadium in Stanley Park would only be possible if a naming rights deal could be found.
Meanwhile, they have had detailed plans for a redeveloped Anfield – where the costs would be less than half those of a new build, but bring the capacity to around the same figure.
Plans will involve rebuilding the Main Stand and a redesigned Anfield Road End, doing so in phases in order to avoid disruption to the overall capacity of Anfield. FSG’s redevelopment of Boston Red Sox’s Fenway Park was done over a ten year period.
Monday’s news is expected to detail the housing regeneration area behind the Main Stand. This will crucially include the demolition of properties directly behind the Main Stand – thus allowing for a new stand to be built deeper and higher, a key stumbling block in plans for Anfield redevelopment over the last 20 years.
Those houses on the other side of Lothair Road, and parallel on Allroy Road, also play a key role as they will change their purpose from residential properties to commercial use. This area will be developed into a hotel, removing the ‘right to light’ that residential properties require and thus another key stumbling block finally removed.
Liverpool can then begin building the new Main Stand behind the current one, a common practice in stadium redevelopment and as they did with the Centenary Stand in the early nineties. This will allow for minimal disruption to capacity while building works take place. Effectively scheduling the work can mean that the capacity would not see any reduction in capacity, with the final stage being completed during the close season.
Images above courtesy of Sports-stadia.co.uk.
The Main Stand, and Paddock Enclosure, currently holds just over 12,000 seats. A redeveloped Main Stand could take that capacity to nearer 20,000 and Anfield’s above 50,000.
The Anfield Road End’s current capacity is just over 9,000. Even if this were to be completely demolished, with the increased Main Stand capacity, it would bring the total capacity to a similar figure to the current Anfield during this second phase and construction of a new Anfield Road End.
The Anfield Road Stand could either be built over Anfield Road itself, or the road itself could be diverted around the new, deeper stand.
A new Anfield Road Stand could have a 15,000 capacity. Combined with the new Main Stand, that would bring a new Anfield total capacity of around 60,000.