Liverpool are set to increase Anfield’s capacity up to 61,000 after confirming plans to redevelop the Anfield Road End, which has been met by both excitement and trepidation.
After allowing previous plans to expire in September, the club recently announced that they are set to invest £60 million into the redevelopment of the Anfield Road end, adding an extra 7,000 seats.
Initial plans which were pencilled in during phase one of Anfield’s redevelopment alongside the Main Stand had looked to add just 4,000 to Anfield’s capacity, but after further consultation the Reds are set to boost the Anfield Road end’s capacity to 16,000.
At this current stage, however, there is no time scale on the project as Liverpool continue to consult with local residents and planning officials as a partial closure of Anfield Road outside the stadium will be required throughout the building process.
It would be expected that the Reds will wait until the completion of the club’s new Kirkby training base next summer before taking on another project of this magnitude as a new planning application is expected in spring next year.
Jurgen Klopp recently spoke of his excitement over the news as he commended the club for “constantly trying to develop and make the next steps.”
The majority of seats in the stand have been outlined for general admission tickets and with demand only rising, fans have welcomed the addition but remain of the sense that it still will not be enough.
“At the end of the day there’s too much demand for tickets right now, I’ve been coming for a few years and trying to build up the credits and it’s nigh on impossible, so the more seats in the ground the better,” The Redmen TV‘s Ben Kelly told This Is Anfield.
Another local resident said of the plans: “61,000 is alright but it’s still not going to solve the ticket problem, there were 70-90,000 people trying to get tickets in the latest members sale – it’s still not going to be big enough.”
While the plans for the stand itself were lauded for its modern look and provided a timely reminder of the positive decision to remain at Anfield, the logistical issues concerning over 60,000 people descending on the area ensured local residents were concerned with the increased footfall and traffic congestion.
“I live just across the road and its madness here on matchdays now, so if they’re talking about another 7,000 people coming into the area what are they going to do about all the extra congestion,” one fan questioned.
“The residents can’t get in and out of their houses when the matches are on now.
“I’ve lived around here all my life but it’s only since they put the Main Stand up and brought these traffic calming measures in that no one can move.
“Obviously everyone wants to come to the game, but it’s getting beyond a joke when you can’t get in and out of the house for hours on end when there’s a match on.”
Another local resident, however, has complete confidence in the club and the team working behind the scenes to find solutions as he welcomed the expansion after seeing first-hand the impact the Main Stand redevelopment has had on the area.
“It’s great for the area as well, I’m a five-minute walk away and we’ve seen the improvement in the area already since the Main Stand has been built and so hopefully this [new development] will go a bit further as well,” he said.
“I’ve seen the work that goes on behind the scenes around the traffic management and the crowd flows, they do put a lot of work into it so they will look at it closely and they will make it work – I’m confident in that.”
There are certainly a lot of parties to consider throughout the process, but the early suggestions are the club are looking into a number of options to ensure the stand is met positively by both fans and local residents alike.