Even as MPs in the parliament are debating the topic of safe seating in stadiums across England, Tottenham have taken a step in the direction by introducing the same at our brand new £850m stadium.
While clubs like Celtic and Borussia Dortmund use rail seating, Tottenham have come up with a new system that combines safety and seating comfort to ensure both are provided equally to the fans.
The areas which will see the possibility of safe seating are the 17,500 single-tier South Stand and also the visitors’ supporting section.
The new seats will provide the same comfort and legroom as all the other sections in the stadium while a 900mm profiled bar will also be set to ensure clear-sightedness.
The seat is also extremely slim to ensure maximum stepping clearway and can be stowed easily when not in use.
Additionally, the club have also informed season ticket-holders about the future of safe seating, should they buy tickets in those designated areas.
All English clubs stopped using safe seating after the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989 but there have been calls to introduce it once more. Donna-Maria Cullen, Executive Director of Spurs, spoke about the issue as she said:
“As a Club, we did not engage on this until the Hillsborough Inquiry was concluded, which showed that the tragedy in April 1989 had not been caused by standing.
“We then conducted research with our fan base which showed overwhelming support for safe standing. The main reasons given were choice and atmosphere – fans cannot sing sitting down.”
Cullen further added that if the law changes, this section would be one of the first to be sold. However, Cullen ensured fans that their safety is of paramount importance to the club.
“It is a new design which incorporates the same appearance and comfort as all other seats within the stadium.
“In the meantime, without any change in the law, our design delivers a safer environment should there be persistent standing.”