In February, a report by the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) found that safe standing had a “positive impact on spectator safety”. Manchester United applied to create 1,500 safe standing seats to the North East Quadrant at Old Trafford during the same month.
What is safe standing?
Safe standing is a method used to ensure standing spectators are safe in stadiums during events. Spectators can either stand or sit depending on the configurations.
What is the history of safe standing?
Spectator standing has been illegal since the 1990s in the top two divisions of English football.
Standing was made illegal following the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. Stadiums have since been required to be all-seater stadiums for these divisions.
UEFA and FIFA both require all-seater stadiums for international football competitions.
In April 2018, the government rejected a request by West Bromwich Albion to trial rail seating.
Fans campaigned for Premier League and Championship clubs to be safe standing with a petition presented to parliament in 2018. 112,000 people signed the petition. Supporters believe that standing would improve match atmospheres.
Where is safe standing seating installed?
Celtic became the first top Scotland club to install safe standing areas for 2,600 people in the 2016/7 season; however the club and Scotland clubs were not banned from installing standing areas.
Tottenham‘s new stadium is being built with 7,500 safe seats which can be converted to safe standing.
Several German football clubs have rail seating installed including Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen and Wolfsbur.
What safe standing seats are available?
Rail seats are the most common form of safe standing seating. The Fansit safe standing rail seat is our rail seat offering. These can be locked into an upright position for standing spectators or unlocked for seating. The Fansit seating offers folding seats and a waist-high metal barrier for spectators in the row behind.
Pros of safe standing
Thousands of supporters and fans signed the petition presented to parliament; therefore they obviously want safe standing. Football fans can also be seen regularly standing in seating areas during matches on national TV showing that some fans would prefer to stand.
Fans noted in the petition that football match atmospheres will be improved by allowing standing.
Due to the current cost of attending football matches, it is believed that lower income families are unable to watch football matches live at the stadiums resulting in a lack of diversity at matches. If safe standing was introduced, the cost of the spaces would be more affordable making tickets more accessible for these fans.