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Effective seating at sports grounds is part of providing a safe and comfortable environment for spectators.

At sports grounds where spectators are essentially in one place (such as watching a match) the provision of seated accommodation for all spectators is, wherever possible, recommended.

As outlined in the calculating safe capacity section, the holding capacity of a seated area does not automatically correspond to the number of actual seats. For example, seats that offer a seriously restricted view or that are damaged, should be discounted.

Demountable stands need to satisfy the same criteria for numbers, dispersal and viewing quality for disabled spectators as those required in a conventional construction.

The provision of seats is not, in itself, a guarantee of safe conditions. Good design and safety management are essential, particularly where spectators persistently stand to watch the event.

Newly constructed seated accommodation should conform to any applicable Building
Regulations, and to the appropriate requirements of the Guide, such as:

In all matters relating to the design of seated accommodation, management seek professional advice from competent persons of the appropriate skill and experience.


New and existing seated areas will need to provide accessible viewing areas for disabled spectators, including ambulant disabled spectators.

These areas must be located around the ground in adequate numbers and must be of appropriate viewing quality, to give all spectators a suitable range of viewing options.

Provision and standards should be reviewed by management, in consultation with disabled supporters and local disability groups, on a regular basis.

Viewing standards

The provision of adequate viewing standards is a key factor in ensuring that seated
accommodation is safe, and serves its intended purpose.

All seated spectators should have a clear, unrestricted view of the whole of the pitch or area of activity.

The only exceptions to this requirement are grounds staging such events as horse racing or motor racing where, clearly, a view of the whole area of activity is difficult to achieve from any static viewing position.

Designs should ensure that spectators are encouraged to remain seated and do not have to stretch or strain to view the event.

Viewing standards depend largely on three inter-related factors:

  • quality of sightlines
  • existence of any restrictions
  • viewing distance.

These are all considered in detail within the Green Guide.

Chapter 12 of the Green Guide provides full information on seating requirements.

This includes:

  • Sightlines
  • Gangways
  • Dimensions and seat designs
  • Provision of cover
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Seats with barriers

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