Supporters group back Everton's plans for safe standing
Supporters group back Everton's plans for safe standing
Everton have been praised by fans’ groups for drawing up contingency plans for safe-standing areas in their new stadium.
The Toffees are set to submit plans for their new Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium later this year, and in their plans, they have catered for the possibility of safe-standing.
Safe-standing would actually increase Everton’s new stadium from a capacity of 52,000 to up to 62,000, adding up to 10,000 on to the capacity of the new venue.
However, plans for safe-standing haven’t yet been approved and for now, the new ground will be an all-seater stadium unless the government approve plans between now and the competition of the new venue.
Here’s all you need to know:
The new stadium itself
Everton are looking to submit plans for their new stadium in 2019, and they are hoping for it to be built on the Bramley-Moore Dock, in Vauxhall.
The stadium is set to hold 52,000 as an all-seated venue, but that could increase to 62,000 if approved.In terms of when the stadium will be ready, there has been no specific date or even year specified just yet with plans needing to be approved before taking the next steps.
However, Everton have purchased a 200-year lease of the land already, and they have contracted architects for the planning and building of the stadium, ready for when plans do eventually go through.
Chairman of the Everton Fans’ group had this to say on the new stadium plans: “We can't financially compete without a larger capacity.
"There are others who are not convinced we could consistently fill a 60,000-capacity stadium to justify the extra £70m or so in construction costs and wonder about the negative impact if seats are empty.
"So I believe the board is being smart by still considering the base-capacity while exploring a more flexible solution for a standing section that could, subject to legislative changes, provide an absolute maximum capacity of 62,000."
The plans, which include safe-standing are contingency plans, which means they can be altered according to what the government decide on safe-standing.
Other stadiums across the Premier League and Championship, particularly newer venues, can also cater for safe-standing, but the replacement of seats for the specifically designed safe-standing seats would, of course, cost he clubs who wish to back the idea should it be approved.
Where does safe-standing currently stand?
Standing at football matches is only currently permitted in League One and Two of the EFL, and it is not currently permitted in the top two tiers of English football through the legislation forged following the Taylor Report relating to the Hillsborough disaster.
However, there are exceptions with Brentford of the Championship still having a terraced stand, with a new ground in the planning.
Other clubs also have ‘standing areas’ or ‘singing areas’ in their all-seater stadiums where fans are allowed to stand next to their allocated seat. This is allowed because everyone in that area buys a ticket under the knowledge that standing takes place, and tickets are still sold by seat, rather than being based on an estimate of how much a terraced stand can hold.
Safe-standing will work similarly, with fans still having the option of a seat, but with differing construction which allows for a greater capacity than the seats you usually see in football stadiums. The seats are built within a rail, which is designed to stop fans falling forward, or indeed backwards while standing up.
There have been a whole host of petitions to have safe-standing reviewed in England following successful trials and success in other countries, such as Germany and even Scotland.
The government is now reviewing safe-standing in the Premier League and EFL.
Could safe-standing result in cheaper tickets?
Peter Daykin, the head of the Football Supporters’ Federation, otherwise known as FSF, says that safe-standing could actually pave the way for cheaper tickets for supporters.
He told BBC Sport: "We are not backing the campaign to give supporters the choice to stand because we expect prices to come down but, obviously, if they do, we will be delighted.
"We also think if you can increase spectator density, prices should come down and that will help with the lack of diversity at many grounds, as the cost of tickets is one of the biggest obstacles there."
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