Manchester United have applied to install rail seating at Old Trafford with their local Safety Advisory Group. Season ticket holders have already been notified that a trial is likely to occur. The changes would be implemented to the north-east corner of the stadium. United has said that these additions will “enhance spectator safety”.
Manchester United Have Submitted a Request to Install Rail Seating
What is Rail Seating?
Rail seating is a technology that provides seats which can also double as standing areas. Metal frames attach to the back of each seat providing a barrier for spectators in the row behind. These seats can also be locked straight up against the barrier to provide space to stand.
Rail seating has been a useless technology in the Premier League and the Championship, as standing in these leagues has been banned for decades. Following the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989, new recommendations were outlined, and standing has been banned since. The Hillsborough disaster was a tragedy, with 96 Liverpool fans dying, so it makes sense that precautions were taken. However, now that this safer technology has been invented, it might be time to allow standing once again.
Top teams have started to take notice of the call for standing in England. Tottenham Hotspur have installed this rail technology in their new stadium, and have made it ready for the introduction of standing in the future. Wolves have also installed this new type of seating over the summer. Manchester United might be the next big English team to install this. As a result, with their massive influence, it is possible to see how these rules may change in the near future.
In recent seasons fans have been campaigning for standing to return to football stadia. Rail seating is the perfect technology to bring this dream to life.