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Early adopters of licensed standing evaluation

In January 2022, licensed standing was introduced at five football clubs – Cardiff City FC, Chelsea FC, Manchester City FC, Manchester United FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC.  These ‘early adopter’ clubs were part of a Government-commissioned trial to asses the impact of introduction standing areas.

The SGSA commissioned independent research to take place during this trial period.

The research found that licensed standing has had a positive impact on safety in areas where large numbers of spectators persistently stand.

Other findings included:

  • Goal celebrations being more orderly with no opportunity for forwards and backwards movement of fans, reducing the risk of fans falling on those around them;
  • Barriers offering stability for people moving up and down aisles and gangways;
  • Latecomers being able to access their seats in the middle of rows more quickly, as others are already standing and have barriers to lean against to allow them to pass.
  • Pockets of overcrowding being easier to identify to security officials, as fans are lined up more clearly
  • The exit of fans from the stadia is more uniform because the barriers limit spectators’ ability to climb over seats to exit more quickly;
  • Spectators are lined up more clearly and therefore any risk of overcrowding can be identified, particularly using CCTV;
  • Stewards can be put in more locations without risking impacting sightlines;
  • There is no evidence to date that the introduction of licensed standing areas has led to an increase in standing elsewhere in stadia

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