Safe Standing or Safer Sitting
To stand or not to stand, that is the question. Many a debate has raged since we left the Vetch for the Liberty Stadium over the lack of atmosphere at our new home. Over many a pint people have bemoaned the lack of terracing and the fact that people are sitting on their hands, not getting behind the boys.
One answer to the lack of atmosphere is the implementation of safe standing areas, terracing in the stands - is this a feasible option?
Cast your minds back to April 1989 - 96 people crushed to death in an overcrowded terrace at Hillsborough, Sheffield. This shocking course of events led to the insistence that all stadia in the top two divisions of the English pyramid must be all seated. The terrace has now become obsolete.
In order to obtain safety certificates, new football grounds have to be all seats, no terracing allowed at all. This is to prevent people standing at games.
Ill use the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff as a prime example. For rugby and football, everyone in the ground must be seated, or no safety certificate is issued, and no event can take place, so what about rock concerts? Everyone stands at concerts; they have a dedicated standing area, why can`t we have this in football?
Health and safety states that per given area of an arena, there can only be a certain number of people, which means that in a concert, everyone squashes down the front by the stage, leaving the back empty. The same principle governs the terraces at the older ground, so why not the new stadia?
At the moment we are stuck with an all seater stadium, and there will be no plans for this to change for the foreseeable future. The atmosphere issue can be addressed, we can still sing, we can still clap, but for the moment we`ll have to do it sitting down!!