Bristol City are reportedly planning to install rail seats at Ashton Gate which allow fans to stand safely.
Much like many German clubs, Bristol City are looking at incorporating 'standing seats' at their stadium to allow people to have the option of standing when watching the games.
The seats can either be locked or unlocked to allow standing or seated options for fans in the given area. They have been used to great success in Germany, Austria and Sweden. Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund have them in their stadiums among others. For European ties the seats are lowered to adhere to the all-seated stadia rules. However for league matches they are raised and fans can safely stand and cheer on their team.
It has often been said that when standing, a much better atmosphere is generated. You can see that from watching the Bundesliga. The fans are hugely passionate their and it is shown through the support. Even when German clubs have played in England they have shown tremendous support which has often caught the English fans by surprise.
Bristol City would become the first club in the United Kingdom to install rail seats. Currently teams in the Championship must have all-seater stadiums, but League One and League Two teams are allowed standing sections. If Bristol City go through with the idea and it is successful then we could see it rolled out at many grounds across the country.
There are numerous Football League clubs who have backed the idea as they believe this is a much safer option that the old-style standing terraces which did little to stop the movement of fans. Clubs are continuously trying to improve the atmosphere at their stadiums and to try and make it a fortress.
On Sunday Manchester United had a singing section at Old Trafford and invited the more vociferous and enthusiastic fans to stand there and try to create a good atmosphere. The club had even brought in specialists who had suggested the right area to help create the most noise based on the acoustics in the stadium.
Ashton Gate will be redeveloped in the summer, and Bristol City have demonstrated what the rail-seats would look like in an unused part of the stadium to give fans an idea of the concept. If regulations permit it Ashton Gate may have up to 4,000 rail-seats installed for the start of next season.
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