Liverpool football club have got the approval to expand Anfield into a 54,000 seater stadium and are set to commence work from the start of 2015.
The news will bring a smile to the fan’s faces as the club had held talks for an expansion or even the possibility of moving to Stanley Park under former American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks, but there was no progress whatsoever.
The club’s Chairman Tom Werner said in a statement, “Since Fenway Sports Group took ownership of the club, we were committed to explore in depth all options for the future of Anfield Stadium. We listened to fans, the community, partners, the Supporters’ Committee and key stakeholders involved in the club.
“It was just over two years ago that we said our preference was to stay at Anfield and here we are today, announcing that the expansion is going ahead. We have made more progress in the past two years than in the last decade.
“Having experience of expanding Fenway Park and being through a similar and very successful project for the Red Sox, everyone at FSG is extremely proud and excited to be part of expanding Anfield Stadium.”
There were talks of moving into Stanley park even when the new owners took over in 2010, but they preferred to stay and redevelop the iconic Anfield instead and scrapped the idea of Stanley park.
Liverpool CEO Ian Ayre was delighted with the approval and thanked everyone associated with the club for their support, “Today is an important milestone in the history of Liverpool Football Club. Since we embarked upon this journey we have always said that we need certainty; we now have that certainty and will progress with the expansion of the Main Stand.
“We received very positive support for this expansion during a public consultation exercise and today is also an important step for the wider regeneration of the Anfield area.
“There has been a tremendous amount of work done to get us where we are today, but this is just the beginning. This is a major construction project which will take place during the football season and while we will make every effort to minimise any impact or disruption to normal operations, we ask for the continued support and understanding from our fans and the local community.
“Expanding Anfield is very much part of our long-term strategy of growing the club and on behalf of the directors, players and staff, I’d like to thank the local community and residents, our fans, Liverpool City Council and Your Housing Group for all their support.”
The new additions
The stadium will have an expanded main stand with three tiers that will make it a massive all-seater stand. There will be an addition of 4800 seats that will increase the capacity by 8500 for the 2016-17 season if finished in time. The player tunnel, which is usually cramped, will be widened.
In addition, there will be an area which will specifically be designed for the Hillsborough memorial, dedicated to the unfortunate 96 people who sadly passed away in the Hillsborough disaster.