June 2017. Within a couple of weeks of each other, two EFL clubs have unveiled stadium plans to incorporate rail seating areas at their grounds as soon as legislation permits them to do so.

Argyle & Shrimpers unveil safe standing plans

First up was League One Plymouth Argyle. They unveiled plans to redevelop their aging main stand and link it up to the more modern horseshoe bowl built in 2001. In each joining corner (one of which is pictured on the right) they hope that legislation will change in time to enable them to fit rail seats. Full details of their plans appeared in the local press.

Southend United
The second club in a matter of weeks to release similar plans was Southend United. Their planning application for their long-awaited new ground at Fossetts Farm devoted two full pages to explaining how and why they were incorporating provision for safe standing into their stadium design. This included the cross-section of the proposed 'Home End' (picture below), indicating that rail seating would be fitted on the rear 31 rows if legislation allowed. The main planning application document can be read here (pages 66 and 67 relate to safe standing).


Increased capacity
The standing capacity in Southend would be around 2,750, working on a ratio of 1.5 standing fans per seat space. In Plymouth, meanwhile, the hope is to achieve a ratio of almost 2:1, with each quadrant accommodating around 2,000 standing fans behind 1,000 rail seats.