Liverpool have unveiled new plans to expand Anfield to a 60,000-seater stadium.
The redevelopment would end a decade of potential change on Merseyside, with the £150million project bringing closure to speculation over Liverpool’s proposed move to a new stadium on Stanley Park.
Liverpool FC would also build a hotel, as well as create new corporate facilities as part of the council’s regeneration project in the L4 region. Managing Director Ian Ayre is understandably excited about the possibilities.
“The regeneration of Anfield is something that many residents and many people throughout the city have talked about and we all recognise the football club is an employer, a business, and a resident, to some extent, in this area,” Ayre told the official Liverpool website.
“I think this is the spiritual home of Liverpool Football Club. Football fans, both Liverpool fans and fans of other clubs, will have had some of the most amazing memories of their time supporting the club and coming to Anfield at this stadium.”
Ayre was eager to stress that today’s announcement is not the final hurdle for the Reds however, and that there is still plenty of work to be done alongside Liverpool City Council before work begins.
“Liverpool fans, myself, everybody connected with Liverpool knows what happens when promises are made and then broken, so it's important we get certainty before we make the next step and a big part of the certainty for what we are trying to achieve is the acquisition of properties and therefore land to build on and then the subsequent planning permission,” he added.
“It would be wrong and foolish and irresponsible for any of us to just assume those things will happen.”
The current capacity of Anfield is 45,276, and whilst Ayre was not willing to give a specific number on what the new total will be, he confirmed that owners Fenway Sports Group are working hard to find the ‘sweet spot’ - believed to be around the reported 60,000 figure.
“We've done a lot of work, I've been here just over five years now, and there's been a lot of work done on demand so we have a very good handle on what our sweet-spot in terms of capacity is, and again the ultimate solution will be driven by the economics of it,” the Liverpool man concluded.
Ultimately, success on the pitch will help Liverpool sell tickets in the stadium, and manager Brendan Rodgers will be hoping to deliver as the future begins to look bright at the club.