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Liverpool FC announced an Anfield Road expansion at their historic and iconic stadium back in September 2021. While the majority of the construction is now complete, Anfield has remained below capacity for the start of the 2023/24 season, with the new stand not set to fully open until next year at the earliest.
In July 2023, Liverpool CEO Billy Hogan outlined the club's intention to gradually open the expanded Anfield Road stand over the beginning of the season, with an anticipated full opening for October's Merseyside derby. However, this date has come and gone. The key reason for the delay has been the contractors, the Buckingham Group, going into administration.
- 1 New update on Anfield Road expansion
- 2 How big will Anfield be after Anfield Road expansion?
- 3 How much did Anfield Road expansion cost?
- 4 Anfield Road expansion delay: The impact on fans
- 5 Why has the Anfield redevelopment been delayed?
- 6 When will first game with completed Anfield Road expansion be?
- 7 Anfield Road expansion latest photos
New update on Anfield Road expansion
Liverpool FC have announced their intention to partially open the new Anfield Road upper tier for their Sunday 17 December match against rivals Manchester United.
The expanded stand was scheduled to open for the start of the 2023/24 season but delays have been caused by several matters. You can find out more below.
The opening of half of the Anfield Road upper tier is dependent on Liverpool receiving safety approval.
“This is subject to an internal emergency conditions test managed in conjunction with Liverpool City Council and a public test event, which is expected to take place during week commencing 11 December,” Liverpool said.
“This latest development is earlier than previously expected, following Buckingham Group entering administration in September, and is testimony to the commitment and hard work of everybody connected with this complex and ambitious build project.
“There is still more work to be completed before the stand can be fully operational and able to welcome 61,000 fans to Anfield on a matchday.”
How big will Anfield be after Anfield Road expansion?
The new capacity of Anfield once the redevelopment is complete will be over 61,015.
The Anfield Road Stand has been expanded higher and deeper, now taking up space where once there was a car park and fan zone. The new stand is 39 metres tall and you can watch the remarkable transformation below.
How big is new Anfield Road stand?
The stand itself will now have a capacity of 15,967 supporters.
This includes an addition of 7,000 seats, with 5,200 “general admission” seats and a further 1,800 “hospitality” seats.
The concourse has been changed significantly and are now similar to those in the Main Stand. The ‘Family Park' has been moved under cover, too.
There has been some confusion as to why the new stand does not match exactly with the adjacent stands, with Liverpool not taking this opportunity to ‘fill the corners in' as Manchester United did successfully at Old Trafford in the 1990s and 2000s. However, the expansion does make Anfield one of the largest stadiums in the league.
How much did Anfield Road expansion cost?
The estimated cost of the construction has come to around £80m, although the significant delays at the start of the 2023/24 season could add to this.
Anfield Road expansion delay: The impact on fans
Liverpool have now confirmed that the expanded Anfield Road End won't be fully open until 2024.
They have asked supporters who are unable to attend any fixtures to return their tickets to the club to allow those who held tickets for the upper Anfield Road to be moved elsewhere.
All ticket-holding supporters in the upper Anfield Road have been contacted to be made aware of the delay and their ticket cancellation.
This first happened for the Merseyside Derby on 21 October but will now also affect six games prior to 2024, those half-dozen fixtures being: Nottingham Forest (29 October), Brentford (12 November), Fulham (3 December), Manchester United (17 December), Arsenal (23 December) and Newcastle (1 January).
Why has the Anfield redevelopment been delayed?
The most recent cause of the delay has been the Buckingham Group entering administration in September. This meant Liverpool had to find a new construction company to take over. Rayner Rowen Construction, along with “a number of other contractors” have taken over to complete the job.
In October, Liverpool announced that the upper area of the stand will be closed until 2024. The Anfield Road expansion may be completed prior to this, but the club wanted to give clarity to fans.
“On a project of this size, information on all the aspects of the work is critical to move forward,” said Liverpool CEO Billy Hogan.
“And what's become clear in the last few days is there's just more work to be done in order to get a full project completion plan for the stand, which means unfortunately as I said that the upper tier is not ready to partially or fully open until the end of the calendar year.
“Rayner Rowen really needs the time to complete the information-gathering before we commit to any new project timeline.
“There's a lot of different, various factors that are going into this discussion and into this review, so many pieces of the jigsaw that we need to pull together so it's just not possible at this point to put a new timeline in place.”
Anfield's capacity is limited to around 50,000 while the stand is closed.
When will first game with completed Anfield Road expansion be?
It's now hoped that a full-capacity Anfield crowd – of over 61,000 – could be welcomed in for Liverpool's first or second home match of 2024.
The Reds' current schedule does not include any home games until Chelsea at the end of January, but there could be two cup ties prior to that. If Jurgen Klopp's side are drawn at home in the FA Cup Third Round, this could be the notable match.
Anfield Road expansion latest photos
All photos via Liverpool FC.