FSG has made significant investments at Anfield, and Sam Kennedy, the CEO of Fenway Sports Management, has hinted at potential future plans involving a new Liverpool stadium.
Fenway Sports Group is planning on expanding Liverpool’s Anfield in the future. The ownership group’s dedication to the long-term project with the Reds remains intact.
One of the first important decisions that FSG had to make after taking over ownership of Liverpool in 2010 was whether to pursue the construction of a new stadium or to make significant investments in Anfield to improve its matchday experience and income potential. The notion of a dual build with Everton, which Liverpool City Council had floated in the middle of the 2000s as a potential resolution. As well as talk of a new stadium across Stanley Park. Both came and went.
The choice was made to proceed in the same manner as they had with the Boston Red Sox in 2002. This helped resolve to keep them in their illustrious stadium and make investments to bring it up to date.
FSG plans on expanding the Anfield
With the completion of the £114 million Main Stand reconstruction in 2016, the stadium’s capacity increased by 8,500 seats. And a revamped matchday experience and greatly improved corporate offering assisted Liverpool in dramatically increasing income.
Matchday income was £62.4m in the financial accounts for 2015–16 that Liverpool released. The revenue rose £73.5 million in the accounting period that followed, 2016–17, an increase of over 18% from the previous year.
According to analysts at the reputable sports business website Off The Pitch, matchday sales may top £89.7 million, according to predictions made for the 2021/22 accounting period. That is an increase of 44% since the Main Stand was built.
Matchday revenue was £40.9 million the year FSG took over, more than doubling over the previous ten years, while capacity rose by only 18%.
The Anfield Road End will expand the stadium’s capacity to more than 60,000 by adding an additional 7,000 seats. And the Reds are currently investing in another stadium refurbishment to meet the high demand.
The Reds are likely to surpass the £100 million mark in matchday income in the future years’ thanks to the £80 million project. It will be done before the start of the upcoming season.
Sam Kennedy on the new developments, including Liverpool stadium plans
Sam Kennedy was a part of the senior leadership team of FSG when the company acquired Liverpool in 2010. And he later rose to the positions of president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox, CEO of Fenway Sports Management, and CEO of FSG Real Estate. He plays a significant part in building and redeveloping the stadiums and surrounding properties where their teams, Liverpool and Boston. And most recently, the Pittsburgh Penguins operate in his capacity as the head of FSG Real Estate.
“We found an unbelievable facility, a venue that means so much more than football to the community. It is literally a place where generations have shared memories and made connections and bonds, unlike anywhere else in sports if you think about what Anfield means in Liverpool. That said, when we arrived, it needed some significant investment. There was no premium offering to speak of, not much focus on food and beverage, and gameday experience, to say the least.
There had been talking about a dual build with Everton and maybe building one venue for both clubs. I can assure you that was a bad idea. It would have been a bad idea for us to come out in support of it for reasons that may seem obvious now to people who understand global football. We made the decision to do exactly what we did at Fenway Park, preserve Anfield, protect it and expand it.
We have invested several hundred million pounds into the facility. And we have created a new main stand. An Anfield Road stands that is coming online, all inside the venue to bring people to the games earlier and to enhance the experience that they have there.
It is obviously a lot more difficult when you manage the design and construction when you are 4,000 miles away, so we opened a commercial office in Liverpool and London to manage the process. I think it has been received well. We are still small in the Premier League regarding the venue size.
And there is still a lot of frustrated demand for tickets and access, but we think that’s OK given how special the venue is.”
FSG’s other developments
FSG is actively pursuing the redevelopment of more than two million square feet of land across eight acres. In August, FSG launched their $150 million MGM Music Hall across the street from the renowned stadium. Artists like Bruno Mars began to bring the venue, increasing the company’s revenue potential.
The Reds owners are working closely with the City of Boston Planning Authority to bring about the redevelopment of Fenway Park’s acreage. The Park will feature retail, hospitality, hotels, entertainment venues, and other facilities.
Given the residential setting, there isn’t really a chance for something similar in Liverpool. Kennedy did, however, mention that there would likely be more stadium-specific reconstruction on the horizon in the future.