Liverpool FC have unveiled plans for the phased opening of the new and expanded Anfield Road Stand - and it's appears to be ahead of schedule.
The club confirmed on Thursday that the upper tier of the stand will partially open for the upcoming clash against Manchester United in a little over three weeks' time, on 17 December.
This would temporarily increase the stadium capacity to 56,000 over the period up until Christmas.
This update comes earlier than anticipated after the project was thrown into chaos when developer Buckingham Group went into administration in September, leaving the project unfinished.
Now, though, works to finish off the new stand appear to be ahead of schedule, a fact the club says is "testimony to the commitment and hard work of everybody connected with this complex and ambitious build project".
The derailed plans have meant that Anfield has had a reduced capacity of slightly over 50,000 for the first nine home games this season. This will continue for the two upcoming home fixtures - a Europa League clash against LASK, followed by a Premier League encounter with Fulham, just days before the highly anticipated United game.
It had been reported that it wouldn't be potentially until March that fans would be able to enjoy the new stand.
Several steps remain
However, several steps remain before Anfield can welcome a total of 61,000 fans on match days. These include an internal emergency conditions test, coordinated with Liverpool City Council, and a public test event for around 3,000 people.
The latter is expected to occur during the week commencing 11 December and will evaluate the building, systems and management plans, ensuring the stand's safety measures align with regulations.
Following a successful test event, the acquisition of a safety certificate is still needed to open the upper tier.
In the meantime, work will continue behind the scenes before the new tier can fully open and new-look stadium can operate at full capacity.
Tickets for the upcoming home fixtures will only be put on sale after a successful test event, the club has confirmed.
And once they do go on sale, supporters who had their tickets for the upper tier cancelled because of the building delays will be given priority.