MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Fans share first experiences of upper Anfield Road – and warn about wind!

The new upper tier of the Anfield Road Stand officially opened for the visit of Man United, and the first experience for fans generated a particular chilly warning.

Anfield recorded an attendance of 57,158 on Sunday, the largest since 1963 and the third biggest in the club’s league history since 1949, when 58,757 came through the turnstiles.

It was a historic occasion and one we have long waited for after a number of construction delays, which is still forcing a phased opening of the new upper tier of the Anfield Road stand.

But a total of 7,000 fans got to experience the upper tier for the very first time on Sunday, and This Is Anfield asked a few supporters about their experiences – and there was one common warning!

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 17, 2023: A general view of Anfield and the newly opened upper tier of the Anfield Road stand seen during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda) This image is a composite of multiple images.

One TIA visitor, Stewart, a Liverpool fan who had travelled from America for the game, said he had problems getting out of the seating areas.

“It took ages to get out at half time,” he said. “Getting to the toilet took too long.”

“It was very windy up there,” he added.

Another fan, Ben Kelly, was more positive, saying it was fine getting to the toilets from block AU6. He also added: “There aren’t as many stairs as the upper main, which is nice!”

Kelly also said the wind was an issue, but overall felt it was a great experience.

Those of us who have been fortunate to watch a match at Anfield know all too well the havoc the wind can wreak, and it’s a warning to keep in mind if you end up with a seat up there during the winter months!

As for the atmosphere, many observed that it was loud to begin with, especially around block AU6 and there seemed to be some who wanted to stand and others who didn’t.

“From my perspective in Main Stand Lower, quite central, the noise from the Anfield Road End was noticeably louder than the Kop in the early moments of the game, but then the atmosphere like the performance fell flat,” TIA’s Matt Ladson explained.

“I think we’re certainly in for some loud nights under the lights, especially once we arrive at full capacity.

“It’s definitely going to drown out away fans much more.”

There are kinks to iron out still, including bulky speakers that drop down from the roof and block sightlines – they, surely, can and will be relocated.

And if you didn’t know already, the upper tier has its own little quirk as in the top corner there is row made up just one single seat – the dream for any introvert!

So, if you’re in row 43 and seat 21, just know that you have that area all to yourself.

The plan for total capacity of close to 61,000 remains for the end of January, which could see the visit of Chelsea on the final day of that month played in front of a full Anfield.

It will be quite the sight when that day comes!