Liverpool Football Club has announced that it is planning to begin the next phase of the expansion of its Anfield Stadium later this year, with completion scheduled for the start of the 2021-22 Premier League season.
The club’s ownership group, Fenway Sports Group, has begun a second stage of public consultation, and aims to submit a planning permission application to Liverpool city council in March.
The first stage of public consultation received over 800 responses, largely concerned with proposed road closures. The club has confirmed it will now look to reroute the road around the stadium rather than seek a prolonged closure, allowing residents access to buildings throughout the construction process.
The proposal will see 7,000 seats added to the Anfield Road stand, 5,200 of which will be in general admission, with a further 1,800 to expand the club’s corporate hospitality offering. It would take the total capacity of Anfield to 61,000, making it the third-biggest stadium in the Premier League, behind Manchester United’s Old Trafford and the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
If successful, Liverpool intends to break ground on the new project in “late 2020”, according to a club statement, with works expected to take up to 18 months, completing in the summer of 2022.
Liverpool’s chief operating officer, Andy Hughes, said: “Our plan is to go into a planning process in March through April and expect a planning determination to come in late summer.
“Assuming that goes to plan we would be able to commence the build towards the end of this year and take us through to completion in the summer of 2022. There are lot of things that can happen on that journey and even a small change on the planning application could delay us.”
FSG has already overseen one expansion of the iconic venue, adding a further 8,500 seats to the Main Stand in 2016, bringing the stadium’s total capacity to 54,074.
Last year, it postponed plans for further redevelopment, allowing planning permission to lapse in order to enter into further public consultation. The new plans are significantly more ambitious than those initially outlined, with the shelved proposal including only an additional 4,000 new seats. In November, it revealed the plans to expand to 61,000 seats, though offered no timeline or schedule at that point.
During the building of the expanded Main Stand, Liverpool played away from Anfield for the first four games of the 2016-17 season while construction was completed, but the club has indicated that it intends to keep the Anfield Road End fully operational throughout the building process.
In 2019, Liverpool’s chief commercial officer, Billy Hogan, told SportBusiness that Anfield was a key part of FSG’s attempts to grow the club’s revenues.