All-seater stadium

All-seater stadium

All-seater stadium is the terminology applied to those sports stadia in which every spectator has a seat. This is commonplace in football (soccer) stadiums in nations such as Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

However, some countries, such Germany, do not have all-seater stadiums. German fans protested that they would prefer to stand whilst watching football, and so the country's grounds have large terraced areas.

All-seater stadiums in Britain

In 1977, Clydebank, a relatively small club, were promoted to the Scottish Premier Division. At that time, the grounds of clubs playing in the highest tier in Britain were required to comply with the Safety of Sports Grounds Act if their capacity was above 10,000. Clydebank, faced with a large bill to ensure compliance, decided to reduce the capacity of Kilbowie Park to 9,950 by bolting wooden bench seating to their terraces, which were open to the elements. Kilbowie thereby became the first all-seater ground in Britain, albeit as a response to an unforeseen problem rather than a long-term plan.

Aberdeen followed suit in 1978, putting benches on the open south terrace as the final part of a longer-term plan to make the ground all-seated. Subsequent to this, the south side of the ground was covered over, and Pittodrie Stadium was proclaimed as the country's first all-seated, all-covered ground, although the southern corners of the ground remained open to the skies. In 1981, Coventry City converted Highfield Road to all-seating, the first club in England to do so, at the instigation of the then chairman, Jimmy Hill. This move, forced on the fans, proved unpopular, with attendances declining, and terracing was reinstated at one end by 1985.

The other ground often cited as all-seated in Britain before 1990 was Ibrox, home of Rangers. However, although Ibrox had no terracing after the redevelopment which was completed in 1981, there was still a significant standing area in the 'Enclosure', the front portion of the old Main Stand.cite book| first=Simon| last=Inglis| title=Football Grounds of Britain, third edition| publisher=Collins Willow publishing| year=1996| id=ISBN 0 00 218426 5| pages=137, 424-425, 437, 467-469]

All-seater stadiums have been compulsory in the English Premiership since the start of the 1994-95 season as a result of the Taylor Report, which gave recommendations to improve stadium safety after the Hillsborough disaster. The initial plan, drawn up in 1990, had recommended that standing areas should be banned from stadiums in the upper two tiers of the league from 1994 onwards, while stadiums in the lower two tiers had until 1999 to meet these requirements. A review of the proposals in 1992 saw non-Premiership and second tier clubs retain the option to have standing areas. From time to time there are calls for Premiership stadiums to be allowed to have standing areas, but these have always been rejected.


FIFA and UEFA also mandate that all matches in competitions that they control be held in all-seater stadiums. This means that in countries where standing terraces are commonplace, either the stadiums cannot be used at all; the standing areas are closed to spectators (as at Lansdowne Road, home to the Republic of Ireland national team, before its redevelopment) Fact|date=May 2008; temporary seats are installed (as is the case with Croke Park, home to the Republic of Ireland national team during the Lansdowne Road redevelopment), or the standing areas must be converted to seating (as is the case with several of the larger stadiums in Germany, some of which were used in all-seater configuration for the 2006 FIFA World Cup).

ee also

*Eurostand 98
*UEFA Stadia List



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