Plans to hold music concerts and a range of non-football sporting events at Anfield stadium could move a step closer next week.
In June, Liverpool FC submitted proposals to make its world-famous home a “year-round destination”.
Reports to be considered by Liverpool City Council’s planning committee next week (28 August) are recommending the club’s plans are given the go ahead.
As part of the planning permission, the club would be allowed to host non-football sporting events such as boxing, American football or Gaelic football, and would also be permitted to screen a wider range of football matches including Reds away fixtures and international games.
According to a planning statement included with LFC’s application, the events would occur following the end of the football season and would take place over a six-week period running from May until the club needs to recommence pitch preparation works “around the end of June”.
The document adds that whilst the application seeks consent for as many as 10 events, it’s “unlikely that this number of events will take place”.
LFC says it has undertaken a feasibility exercise to assess the potential capacity for hosting events at the stadium and concluded that between 47,000 and 50,000 spectators could be accommodated – assuming the stage or screen would prohibit the use of one of the sides of the stadium.
However for events where a stage is erected in the middle of the pitch, e.g. boxing, the capacity could increase to 60,000.
A number of objections to the plans have been put forward by and on behalf of neighbouring residents, citing concerns including an increase in disruptions and noise levels and risks of anti social behaviour, particularly during the months the surrounding community enjoys respite from the football season.
The report going before the planning committee adds: “The head of planning is satisfied that whilst there would undoubtedly be some impact from the additional activity associated with the use of the stadium for additional sporting events such impacts can be mitigated as they currently are.
“The head of planning has also had regard to the historic use of the stadium and to the potential socio-economic benefits that might arise. In relation to both traffic management and to residential amenity she is satisfied that any impact can be reduced through the use of appropriate conditions particularly through the use of an event management plan.”
Notable non-football events to have taken place at Anfield over the years include a baseball match between Union and Seafield in 1895, a visit from the famous Harlem Globetrotters basketball team in 1958 and a concert by Sir Paul McCartney in 2008.