Myth: "Rail seats mean an obstructed view"

Some opponents of rail seats, not quite getting the point that they would be used practically all of the time just for standing - not sitting - object to them because they "would obstruct fans' view of the pitch".

Over 99% of the time they 100% would not obstruct any fans' view!

Let's look at the maths: if your ground installed rail seats, it might do so in, say, 10% of the ground, typically behind the goal at the 'home' end. If you like to stand, then that is where you would go. For all domestic games you would stand. You would only sit for European games.

Crowds at European games at English club grounds in 2009/10 totalled 1.5m. So, if 10% of each ground had had rail seats, an aggregate of c. 150,000 fans would have sat on them. That represents just 0.6% of the 26.75m total aggregate attendance figure for competitive games at Premier League and Championship grounds that season. So, if 10% of all grounds in those leagues had been fitted with rail seats, 99.4% of the time fans would have either sat on a normal seat or stood at a rail seat.


Fans falling into the other 0.6% would invariably be holders of standing area season tickets for domestic games. It can reasonably be assumed that they would gladly accept sitting on a metal seat with a rail in front of them once in a blue moon in return for being allowed to stand at all other games.

Fans sitting on such seats would also find that they can comfortably see over the rail if they're of reasonable stature (as can be seen in the photo on the left, where the man can clearly see over the rail even sitting with shoulders slumped). If not, as they would only be doing so at a European game, they'd probably be on the edge of their seat anyway and would then be able to see every bit of the action - and even have a rail to grab hold of when it all gets too exciting!

(Picture taken in Klagenfurt - a stadium built to UEFA specifications for Euro 2008)

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