Demolition To Clear The Way For A ‘New’ Anfield?

Date: 1st June 2012 at 9:08 am
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AS Reds Nation goes wild with news that Brendan Rodgers will take over the Manager, one key piece to the puzzle that remains unsolved is what to do about the proposed new stadium? When first took over they indicated that they preferred renovation over building a new, at nearby ….and for several months, that was…well…..that.

However a recent news blurb on the LFC homepage indicated that ‘progress was being made’. No further details were released but at this point it is acknowledged that the Stanley Park stadium design (designed and unveiled during the Hicks/Gillette era to a cost of several million dollars) is officially dead. It is now expected that the club will announce its plans to stay at and renovate the historical stadium, with revealing plans to local residents which would see houses demolished to enable an expansion to the Main Stand and the Anfield Road end.

Looking back at FSG’s history with stadiums, the only available source of data is the famous , home of the . This year the stadium will celebrate its 100th Anniversary. Both players and fans are pretty polarized about Fenway. Some see it as a lasting tribute to the history and tradition of the team. Others view it as outdated and cramped. Having never seen a game there, I can’t give a personal opinion. In 2005 FSG decided to formally renovate Fenway, spending 10 years and $285M in the process. Could Anfield undergo the same treatment?

Having been to Anfield the seats are significantly smaller than those available at most new stadiums across the globe (but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing). While going through the bowels of the stadium (during the Official Tour) and seeing the locker rooms, press areas, etc it’s clear that the team has run out of room. But in order to expand, nearby houses around Anfield would need to be bought and then demolished for expansion (Editor: something now all but officially confirmed). Old Trafford is an example of a successful expansion, with the ground celebrating its own 100-year anniversary in 2010.

At a meeting held 2 weeks ago, the club’s Managing Director , alongside the City Council’s Assistant Director for Regeneration in the area, Mark Kitts, met with local residents and presented them with options which would involve the demolition of rows of houses. Kitts stated the homes would be given ‘an open market valuation’, plus a 10% ‘home loss payment’ and removal costs. He also confirmed the club will not have to deal directly with residents, or buy houses – that is the council’s jurisdiction.

“We have been working with the club very closely,” Kitts said, “and they have said this will accommodate their needs if they stay at Anfield and refurbish the current stadium.”

The major obstacle for Anfield stadium renovation is not that of enlarging its ‘footprint’, but in wanting to add an extra tier and corporate facilities to the Anfield Road and Main Stand. In doing so would block the ‘right to light’ of neighboring houses – something which the council believes the plans for demolition would solve.

It appears that FSG recognize that Anfield is part of the Liverpool FC fabric and is no rush to raze it to make way for a new Stadium. But, as with most things in business, time is of the essence. Losing out on potentially 20,000 more fans each match is a significant hit on revenue, not to mention that having a marquee stadium can be counted on for International Friendlies, Champions League Finals, and more.

Most fans at this point (myself included) want to give FSG the benefit of the doubt to make sure they make the right decision rather than rush to judgement and have things collapse later. But how long is long enough?

With the revelation of the projected plans, Liverpool FC have declined to comment, stating: “The private discussions and plans that Liverpool Football Club has or may have with residents or other stakeholders are, in our opinion, exactly that: ‘private’.”

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0 thoughts on “Demolition To Clear The Way For A ‘New’ Anfield?

  • Barry Ringstead
    4 years ago

    I’m in the “redevelop Anfield” camp as you don’t want to lose the great atmosphere the crowd being so close to the field creates. It’s also difficult to justify spending £350m + (I think that was a number I read) to build a brand new stadium and only add 15,000 capacity. The numbers don’t add up.

  • FSG believer
    4 years ago

    60000 is short term minded… needs to be 76000 + over time… by the time we get the 60k stadium it will be to small again to compete over next 20 years, hope they have the sense to make it 76k, even if they offer seats £5 a go to school kids, get the stadium filled and use to going to football then a full stadium is also better than part full on any size. They need to look 20yrs down the line not just 5 years…biggar the better.

  • Big Johny S
    4 years ago

    I just don’t understand what is taking so long. The decision in my opinion is simple – LFC need to move to a new, bigger stadium to be able to actively complete with the likes of e.g Manchester Utd. If we compare the figures for a usual Premier League game and for argument sake we take £40 as an average ticket price….Liverpool capacity 45,522 v Man Utd 75,811 in £££ Man Utd make £3,032,440 whereas Liverpool generate £1,820,880, that means that on average each game gates receipts Utd make £1,211,560 more than LFC over the course of the season that’s £23,019,640 the figures are astronomical and don’t include extra food sales, program sales, merchandise, cup games etc etc!!! Liverpool have to move, if you have been on the stadium tour you can actually appreciate how dated and small the facilities actually are; interview location, home and away dressing rooms and above around the hallow ground the lack of space between each fan and the seat size is clearly way to small.

    What we must remember is that Liverpool will always be Liverpool FC and we must as a family move forward and reach for the stars. Lets get this new stadium going but lets not build a 60,000 lets aim bigger. LFC could sell the current Anfield out 3 times for each game. We should DEMAND a 100,000 seater, and if Stanley Park is not suitable then we must find a location (WITHIN LIVERPOOL) that is. With this size stadium, and with Liverpool clearly building for the future thanks to the brilliant appointment of Brendan Rodgers. We need a stadium to attract the best players – this will attract more fans enhancing the name of LFC (not that it needs any help!!) If Liverpool do decide to move naming rights will always be a difficult “pill to swallow” but again this generates income. We all know deep down it makes sense – Lets get digging!!!! YNWA, GOOD LUCK BRENDAN AND THANK-YOU FSG.

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    3 years ago

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