Liverpool City Council’s planning committee has given the green light to Liverpool FC for the proposed redevelopment of the Anfield Road Stand on Tuesday. The redevelopment will increase the stadium’s capacity by around 7,000, taking Anfield’s overall capacity to more than 61,000.
Andy Hughes, managing director of Liverpool FC, said, “This is a huge milestone in our journey towards bringing more supporters into Anfield. We underwent a rigorous two-stage public consultation period during the planning process for this project, and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to that.”
Anfield will also trial the temporary installation of seats with safety rails in two parts of the stadium, following a Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) safety review. The SGSA’s regulatory focus is on reducing persistent standing risks in stadiums and avoiding potential crowd collapses. Liverpool had a management plan for persistent standing at Anfield for many years, but in SGSA’s most recent review, it is now advising to install safety rails.
The Kop and Anfield Road Stand will see a total of 7,800 seats updated in the trial, which will begin from the start of next season. Around 1,800 new seats will be located in the back of the Kop and 6,000 in the Anfield Road Stand lower tier. Anfield will remain an all-seater stadium and the trialed areas with the new seats and safety rails are not ‘safe standing’ areas.
The seating installed at Anfield includes normal stadium seats with an integrated safety rail behind them to avoid a crowd collapse. They will not impact the visibility of the pitch for supporters. The design is to enable fans to stand safely at key moments in the game, like goal celebrations but must revert to a seat at other times. Liverpool looks to immediately make advances in their facilities as fans slowly make their return to the stadium as restrictions ease across the UK.