Roadshow attends Oxford United open day
Saturday July 2nd 2011 saw the Safe Standing Roadshow take part in Oxford United's annual open day. Up at 5am to be at the ground at 8, it was a hot tiring day, but well worth it, as we spread the word about rail seats and received almost excusively positive feedback from fans (like those pictured).
Billed as a fun day for the family, the open day attracted around 3,000 visitors with the kids able to take part in a mass game of football on the pitch with Oxford's players. When the fun on the pitch was over, kids, mums, dads and grandparents wandered around the perimeter, browsing the numerous stands ... and the Safe Standing Roadshow created a lot of interest.
We were situated at the undeveloped end of Oxford's ground where fans such as David Cudd, Mark Sargeant and Kevin Lyon, who had invited us to attend, hope the club might consider building a stand incorporating rail seats.
Currently in League Two, the club could build a terrace there to address fans' wishes for standing accommodation. However, this would attract no Football Foundation funding and would also need costly conversion to a seated stand in the event that Oxford made it to the Championship prior to any change in the all-seater rule.
A stand using rail seats may, therefore, be the answer. It could be used as a standing area (with the seats locked in the 'up' position) while the club is still in League Two or League One and as seats (with the seats unlocked) in the event of them playing in the Championship before the illogical all-seater rule is repealed.
It's an option the club seem willing to consider and it would be an interesting test case if they were to seek Football Foundation funding for such a completely new style of hybrid stand - which 5 of the Oxford first team squad got to sample for themselves in Saturday's sun (pictured here).