Liverpool to redevelop Anfield instead of building on Stanley Park

By Ben SmithBBC Sport
'Real aspiration' to redevelop Anfield, says Ian Ayre

Liverpool have confirmed that they plan to redevelop their existing home at Anfield, rather than building a new stadium in nearby Stanley Park.

The capacity is set to be extended from 45,276 to 60,000, while the project will cost around £150m with Liverpool committing to building a hotel.

The city's council has secured a £25m grant to regenerate the wider area.

"This is step one as there is land to acquire, plans to be approved," said Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre.

"But this is a significant moment. Today represents a huge step forward for the Anfield area."

A planning application is not expected to be submitted until next summer and little information has yet been revealed on the exact details of the project.

Full plans will be drawn up in the coming months before a public consultation. If the process remains on schedule, it is hoped work will begin in 2014.

Redevelopment is likely to see extensions to the Main Stand and the Anfield Road end. It is not clear where the hotel would be on the site.

Residents raised concerns earlier this year about any expansionexternal-link and it remains uncertain exactly how many houses would be affected by any compulsory purchase orders.

The plan will see a number of streets close to Anfield cleared, such as Lothair Road, Alroy Road and Sybil Road, with hundreds of properties in four areas of the Liverpool suburb renovated.

A number of terraced streets will be reshaped, while scores of residents in the areas affected could be relocated to newly upgraded properties nearby.

The redeveloped Anfield will be the centrepiece of the council's £175m regeneration project of the L4 area.

"This is a major step forward for the football club but more importantly the residents," added Ayre.

"We welcome the opportunity to be part of this partnership - we want to thank [mayor of Liverpool] Joe Anderson and the council for the time and the support they've given us to help make the right decision.

"LFC celebrated its 120th year in 2012 at Anfield and there is no doubt Anfield is the spiritual home of the club - our preference was always to remain at Anfield."

The club's owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), which also runs 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 stadium.


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