Myth: "Current stands cannot be converted"

Some opponents suggest that safe standing should not be introduced because not all existing grandstands could be appropriately, easily or inexpensively converted to rail seating. We say: "Let the clubs decide!"

Existing grounds
Let's compare and contrast the approach taken by the authorities to another area of ground development: hospitality boxes. Clubs that do not currently have hospitality boxes in their grounds and wish to install them are not told by the authorities that they can't because their grandstands are unsuitable or it would cost them too much. Quite rightly - within the relevant design and safety guidelines - they are left to decide for themselves whether the potential upside warrants the cost of such redevelopment. They should have the same freedom in respect of rail seats (and we believe there are many reasons - not least £1m+ p.a. in added revenue - why they may decide to install rail seats, as it would make sound business sense).

New developments
When it comes to new developments, whether that be a new stadium or a new stand, the suitability of grandstands for conversion is clearly a non-issue. Clubs like Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Bristol City and others, all with stadium development projects due to be realised in the next few years should have the opportunity to incorporate - duly regulated - areas of rail seating into their new builds, if they so wish.

Two-for-one conversion - DCMS shows the way
The Department of Culture Media and Sport's own Green Guide on safety at sports grounds shows here how a conversion from standing to seating can be achieved. Conversion from seating to standing would follow the same principles in reverse... with the former tip-up seats replaced by rail seats with their sturdy waist-high rails.


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