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Old 06-11-2018, 11:13 AM
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Rail seating (safe standing) installation in Holmesdale Lower at Selhurst Park ?

On 1st November 2018, the latest edition of the “Green Guide” was published by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority. This has been described as ‘ground breaking’ because from now on, clubs in the Premier League and Championship are allowed to install “seats with rails” (sometimes known as ‘safe standing’) provided they are not locked in a closed position.

The “flip seats” with rails such as those installed at Tottenham’s new stadium are now permitted, as they are classed simply as “seats”

Crystal Palace has previously been one of the clubs at the forefront of the campaign to be allowed to have an installation of these seats with rails.

The main proviso of installing these seats is that clubs need to have a management policy “to get fans to sit down in those areas”. However all clubs already have such a policy in place, and would effectively turn a blind eye to standing in these areas as is currently the practice.

One of the main benefits of ‘seats with rails’ is that there is minimal chance of a dangerous incidents of standing fans toppling over each other, such as when celebrating a goal. There has previously been a petition to Government signed by 111,000 people calling for such areas to be allowed in the top two divisions, in the hope that it will help improve atmospheres in grounds.

A further benefit of such an area is that the fans who wish to stand know where it is acceptable, and fans who wish to sit, know where to avoid getting tickets.

I personally believe that the current plan, to evict 400 fans from the back of block E, which would ‘cost’ the club circa £100k in compensation is not the best solution - not only because of the cost to the club, but because it does not solve the issue of fans standing at the very front of E block (in front of sitters), plus fans who sit in block F will have lateral sightlines adversely affected by fans standing in the new singing section (back half of E)

If the club could split the stand horizontally into standing (ie rail seats at the back) and sitting (front half remain as normal seats), then all fans in the Lower Tier could re-choose their positions depending on their preference, nobody need be evicted from the stand, and the £100k of compensation could go a long way towards paying for the new rail seats.

Hopefully the poll above will give an idea of people’s preferences and the level of demand, not only for standing amongst current lower tier fans from a proportion of those polled, but also the level of interest in rail seating (standing) from fans elsewhere in the ground, as a full conversion might be possible further down the line when other stadium developments have taken place.
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Last edited by Dorking .Eagle; 06-11-2018 at 11:32 AM.
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