Football: Bristol City hope to introduce new safe standing area

Gazette Series: Rail seats Rail seats

BRISTOL City plan to become the first UK club to install safe standing rail seats at their stadium.

The club aims to redevelop its Ashton Gate home, starting this summer, and may include rail seating subject to the relevant legal hurdles being cleared in two of its stands.

Initially the safe standing areas would only be used during Bristol Rugby matches held at the stadium as the current regulations prohibit their use for football matches.

But following consultation with its clubs, the Football League has agreed to lobby the Government for a change in the rules to permit safe standing areas for football matches.

Bristol City unveiled a demonstration block of rail seats in front of dignitaries from the FA and Football League at Ashton Gate today as an example of what could be expected if legislation was changed.

The all-seated Wedlock Stand is set to be replaced with a brand new stand, which could contain 2,202 rail seats if regulations permit it. Further redevelopment in the Dolman Stand could see a further 1,568 rail seats.

Bristol City chief executive Doug Harman said: “If we are given the relevant permissions, this could be a great opportunity for Bristol City FC to become the first club in the Football League to install rail seating, as well as becoming a showcase for other teams up and down the country.

“At last week’s Football League meeting there was clear strong support from clubs for the League to approach the authorities for a relaxation and change in the regulations.

“We’ve received feedback from our supporters who are keen for the option of safe standing and with the proposed redevelopment of Ashton Gate and Bristol Rugby’s move to the stadium this summer, this seems to be the right time to explore this further.”

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