It may not be a spade in the ground just yet, but Liverpool have today taken a significant step towards answering the club's long-running stadium dilemma by legally committing to a redevelopment of Anfield and the surrounding area. The specifics of the plan to redevelop the ground and revitalise the neighbourhood are expected to be revealed next week, and the club has committed to completing the entire project by 2018.
Key for most fans will be the staged rebuilding of the Main Stand and then the Anfield Road end over the next few seasons, expected to add around 15,000 seats to Anfield's capacity. It is believed that the club will seek to sell naming rights to the two redeveloped stands, though there remains no intention to explore naming rights options for Anfield as a whole.
"We are pleased that great progress has been made," said chairman Tom Werner, in town to sign the documents committing Liverpool to the project. "We have always maintained that we need certainty in order to progress with our plans and the Heads of Terms is an important step on that journey. We are optimistic that we will realise our plans for the expansion of Anfield and look forward to the next step of the planning process."
Other key components of the redevelopment and area regeneration include new housing development and refurbishment of existing housing, further development of Stanley Park, and a new public square, business centre, and hotel.