Regulated stands

A regulated stand is any covered stand with accommodation for 500 or more spectators, whether seated or standing. A local authority is required to determine whether any, and if so which, of the stands at sports grounds within its area are regulated stands.

Home Office Circular 97 /1988 (PDF) gives detailed statutory guidance on how to determine whether or not a stand provides accommodation for 500 or more spectators. For the precise details local authorities should refer to the Circular. In brief the local authority should count:

  • the number of individual seats and / or marked places on bench seats;
  • the number of places available on bench seating allowing 530mm per person and disregarding any shorter lengths left over;
  • the number of spectators who can be accommodated on a terraced or sloped viewing area at a rate of 2.7 per square metre after disregarding gangways, stairways and landings; and
  • the number of spectators who can be accommodated in the front two metres of a flat standing area at a rate of 2.7 per square metre.

This methodology should be used only for determining whether the stand in question should be a regulated stand. Its safe capacity does not depend only on the amount of accommodation available.

When calculating the permitted capacity for inclusion in the safety certificate, the local authority should follow the methodology set out in the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds. This may well result in a substantially lower capacity, which may even fall below 500.