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BBC - Liverpool to extend Anfield to 60,000 capacity

15-10

Liverpool are set to reveal plans to extend the capacity of Anfield to 60,000 rather than build a new ground on Stanley Park.

The redevelopment would cost in the region of £150m and Liverpool would commit to building a hotel as part of the project.

If the process remains on schedule, work would begin in 2014.

Details will be confirmed on Monday morning when the city council announces new proposals for the area.

The redeveloped Anfield will be the centrepiece of the council's £175m regeneration project of L4. It will confirm it has given the go-ahead to a series of compulsory purchase order consultations on houses that would need to be demolished

Residents raised concerns earlier this year about the plans to expand Anfield, which currently has a capacity of 45,276, and it remains unclear how many houses would be affected by any compulsory purchase orders.

Neither the club nor the local authority have made any official comment and the exact cost of the redevelopment is unknown.

Liverpool have looked into adding an extra tier to the stadium, including more corporate facilities for the Anfield Road and main stands.

While the club have also explored options for a new stadium, Liverpool owner John Henry wants to remain at Anfield.

Fenway Sports Group (FSG), which also owns American baseball team Boston Red Sox, faced a similar situation with the Red Sox's ground, Fenway Park. After conducting a feasibility study lasting about a year, FSG opted to redevelop the 100-year-old ground.

Henry has previously sought to dispel the "myth" that the size of the stadium is critical to Liverpool's financial prospects, stating: "A belief has grown that Liverpool FC must have a new stadium to compete with [Manchester] United, Arsenal and others.

"While a new stadium or an expansion of Anfield is beneficial over the long term for the club, the financial impact of adding seats and amenities should be put into perspective.

"That's why I say that it is a myth that stadium issues are going to magically transform LFC's fortunes.

"Building new or refurbishing Anfield is going to lead to an increase from £40m of match-day revenue to perhaps £60-70m if you don't factor in debt service.

"Our future is based not on a stadium issue, but on building a strong football club that can compete with anyone in Europe. This will be principally driven financially by our commercial strengths globally."

Bron: bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/19935925


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