Club: Liverpool FC | Opening: 1884 | Capacity: 54,074 seats
History and description
Anfield was built in 1884, but got initially rented by Everton FC. The first game at the ground, on the 28th of September 1884, saw Everton beat Earlstown 5-0.
In 1891, Everton moved out of Anfield after a dispute over the rent, and one year later newly-founded Liverpool moved in. Their first match at Anfield was a 7-1 win over Rotherham.
Anfield underwent several developments in the late 19th and early 20th century, among which in 1895 the construction of a new main stand designed by Archibal Leitch and a decade later the construction of the famous Spion Kop.
The ground remained more or less the same for the next two decades until the Kop got expanded in 1928. Once completed, it could hold about 30,000 fans.
Anfield set its record attendances in 1958 when 61,905 people attended a match between Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Further improvements were made between 1963 and 1973, when the old Main Stand got demolished and replaced with a new one.
Anfield did not host any matches during the 1966 World Cup, which were instead played at neighbouring Goodison Park.
In the 1980s, a start was made to convert the stadium into an all-seater, and in 1982 the famous Shankly Gates were erected. The last significant changes to the stadium were made in the 1990s, first with the rebuilding of the two-tiered Centenary Stand, then with the conversion of the Kop into an all-seater stand, and finally in 1998 with the construction of a second tier on the Anfield Road Stand.
Anfield was one of the playing venues of the Euro 1996 tournament, during which it hosted three group matches and the quarter-final between France and the Netherlands (0-0).
In the late 2000s, Liverpool contemplated moving away from Anfield to a larger and more modern stadium, and even obtained planning permission for a new 60,000-seater stadium at nearby Stanley Park. However, insufficient funding delayed the plans, which were finally discarded in 2012 by the new owners of the club.
Instead, the ownership opted to redevelop and expand Anfield. The first phase involved the reconstruction of the Main Stand, which increased capacity with 8,500 seats to a total of 54,047. Works started in January 2015 and were completed right before the start of the 2016-17 season.
If there is sufficient demand, plans also include a possible expansion of the Anfield Road Stand, which would result in a final capacity of about 59,000 seats.