Manchester United have today revealed that the club will be installing rail seating to a small section of the Old Trafford stadium.
The club got the green light by Trafford Council and will now be asking contractors to install a small section of these rails to the north east part of the ground, if proven successful the club will extend the barrier seating to other parts of the ground.
This is thought to be a stepping stone to having standing back at Old Trafford which would be a blessing for everyone including the club who will make more money as the attendance could reach nearer 90,000 if standing was brought back for the lower west stand and some other sections of the ground.
A rail seat is simply a rail attached to the back of the seat so people can stand in safety, for UEFA games the seats that are locked in a league or domestic cup game will be unlocked and the stadium will again be all seating.
We should start to see football coming back in the next couple of weeks.
Managing director Richard Arnold said:
“It should be stated, up front, that our overwhelming priority is to keep our people safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. It may seem strange to talk about stadium plans at this time, but football and our fans will return when it is safe, and our preparations for that must continue in the background.
“This announcement is the latest step in what has been a long journey with our fans. We have listened to their feedback, in particular, the representations made by MUST, and worked with Trafford Council to develop and approve this proposal.
“Our belief is that the introduction of barrier seats will enhance spectator safety in areas of the stadium where – as with other clubs – we have seen examples of persistent standing. It also allows us to future-proof the stadium in the event of any changes to the current all-seater stadium policy. If the trial is successful, we may consider further implementation of barrier seating in other parts of the stadium.
“We will now move on to develop the installation, compliance and licensing plan for the trial, with a view to having the new seats installed for when we can welcome our supporters back to Old Trafford.”
The barrier-seating trial is part of our broader plans to develop the stadium in ways which enhance the matchday experience for supporters. Separately, in February, United announced the extension of the atmosphere section in the Stretford End in the south-west corner as part of the season-ticket launch for 2020/21.
“Both of these initiatives underline our commitment to the continued improvement of Old Trafford, with a focus on further enhancing the matchday experience, atmosphere and safety for all supporters.”