Can safe standing increase capacity?

Q: Can safe standing increase capacity?

A: Yes, it can. Where there is enough room and where the law allows it.

Q: Is there enough room at my club’s ground?

A: Yes, if the seating rows are deep enough (ideally at least 750mm deep) and the exits and other elements of the infrastructure (including, for instance, the number of loos) are adequate for increased numbers.

Minimum recommended row depth for a new build

Q: How do you know that’s the case?

A: Because the safety guidelines for doing this are already in place (and have been since 2018).

Q: So, now that safe standing’s allowed, can clubs go ahead and do this?

A: That’s where my line “where the law allows it” comes into play.

Q: So, where is it allowed?

A: In Scotland, Northern Ireland, Eire… (as well as all over mainland Europe).

Increased capacity in Germany

Q: But not in England and Wales?

A: Yes and no. At grounds that were never covered by the all-seater policy, it is. But not at grounds that were previously covered by the policy.

Q: But the all-seater policy has been scrapped, hasn't it?

A: Essentially, yes. Clubs that were previously required to provide exclusively "seated accommodation" can now also offer "licensed standing". And the letter of the law no longer prohibits an increase in capacity (within the relevant safety guidelines).

Q: So, has any club done that yet?

A: Not yet.

Q: But are any clubs actively looking at this potential for future increased capacity, and thus – I’d hope – lower ticket prices for standing?

A: Yes, most prominent among them being Everton, who have this concept incorporated into the design of their new stadium, currently being built at Bramley Moore Dock.

Everton graphic