Manchester City has announced that work will begin this summer to install 5,620 rail seats in the lower tier of the Etihad Stadium’s South Stand – including the South East and South West corners – to enhance supporter safety, replacing the current seats.
The installation of the rail seating area, which will be one of the largest of its kind in the Premier League, follows the conclusion of extensive research and consultation undertaken by the Club.
As part of this, the Club has worked closely with stakeholders including the Local Authority and the Sports Ground Safety Authority to bring forward a proposal which will enhance safety in an area where persistent standing occurs.
The Club has also continued to listen to the views of a wide range of supporters and has engaged with official groups, including City Matters – the Club’s elected supporter network.
Manchester City is pleased that this installation will also ensure the Etihad Stadium is ready and prepared for any future change in legislation brought forward by the government to introduce safe standing in Premier League stadia, the support for which was furthered by the overwhelmingly positive response the Club received from Seasoncard holders who were asked for their views on the matter in 2018, as part of a wider survey regarding the future development of the Etihad Stadium.
Whilst there is no indication as to when a change in legislation may occur, the Club has taken the decision to install these seats over the summer to minimise disruption to the matchday operation when supporters return to the Etihad Stadium for the 2021/22 season.
Commenting on the installation of rail seating at the Etihad Stadium, Danny Wilson, Managing Director – Manchester City Operations, said:
The development and installation of a bespoke rail seating system at the Etihad Stadium will not only improve supporter safety but also ensures that until there is a change in legislation which permits safe standing, the matchday experience of supporters and Seasoncard holders in the lower tier of the South Stand will remain unaffected.
Whilst we will continue to remind supporters that they should remain seated during matches, we are also pleased to inform them that the installation of a rail seating area means the Etihad Stadium will be ready and prepared should the government bring forward legislation to introduce safe standing in the Premier League.
Image courtesy of Manchester City FC