What began as me messing about on paint to see how Arsenal should shift around the seating has turned into a little afternoon read for those commuting back. This might especially be needed if, like me, you have to go through Vauxhall on that journey. Good luck.
Recently Celtic have announced they will go ahead with plans for Safe Standing next season. The natural thought of this was “If it happens in Scotland it is only time until it happens in England.” Especially as the removal of standing in football ground was based on the Taylor Report, which came out of the Hillsborough disaster. The recent inquest announced fans were not to blame. Therefore making the Taylor reports direction on standing in grounds invalid.
So I created a Safe Standing area at Arsenal’s Stadium.
Blocks 6 – 11.
Block 6 is where RedAction attempted to get a lot of like minded fans to pick their season ticket in when the move first happened. The idea being it would create a bit of a singing section (cringe) at the new stadium.
To some part it worked. Most of the noise starts either from block 6, or block 11. In block 6 they already rarely sit down.
In fact, behind the goals from block 6 – 11 fans rarely sit down these days. A safe standing section seems to already be nearly in place. I sit block 11 and have certainly noticed over the last 2 seasons that stewards are a little less Nazi-like when it comes to standing in block 11. Stand in block 12 though and they are on you.
So in my idea of a perfect stadium setting, blocks 6 through to 11 become safe standing. Easily implementing the rail seat technology used in Germany. These area’s would remain season ticket only – unless bought on the ticket exchange. The amount of people in these area’s would not increase. Although I am sure a few would sneak there way in to stand with their pal, like they already often do in block 6.
That way, we have safe standing, with enough space to be comfortable, and the seating in place for European games, where standing is still frowned upon by UEFA.
But what if you do not want to stand? I hear you ask? Well it will be a simple procedure.
When the season ticket renewals come out, those in that area are explained that from the next season, there seat will be standing. If they wish to renew, they need to do nothing. If they do not wish to stand, they need to note that in the renewal, and they will be re-seated, alongside any corresponding seat numbers they indicate in the renewal. IE so they recent people who already sit next to each other.
Whilst this is happening, in the other renewals for those outside of the safe standing area, they also have an option. There option is that if a place comes available, do they want to move their seat to safe standing.
Answer yes, they get added to a waiting list for the safe standing area. Now in the first season, there will be plenty in the safe standing area who wish to be reseated, and plenty in the lower tier who wish to be in the safe standing, It should not be that had to reseat those who do not wish to stand into other parts of the lower tier, alongside who they currently sit with.
As the discussion went further in my head, other issues arose.
- Reclaim the Clockend
- Family Enclosure
- Young Guns Enclosure
- Cannon Club
Firstly let me address blocks 12-19. these are currently season ticker holders seats, and will remain so. The only change being if people from those seats indicate a wish to move to the safe standing. There places replaced by people who wish to not be in the safe standing zone.
20 – 23 are away fans. With 23 becoming general sale if we play a rubbish club like WBA who bring barely 1,000 and return more than half their tickets.
Reclaim the Clock Endhas been a movement for a while now. People who previously sat in the Clock End Highbury wishing to return to the Clock End Ashburton. Currently taken up by general sale and the Young Guns Enclosure.
This will never happen for 3 reasons.
- A lot of stadiums now seat kids next to the away end to reduce tensions. The idea being that a bunch of kids is easier to steward than 500 pissed up men goading each other. And it is true. At Cardiff, once a volatile atmosphere at Ninian Park, you now have kids next to both ends of the away fans in the new stadium. It takes the bite out of the area. I do not disagree with it, but can also can not see it changing
- At Highbury, when we played a cup game, the away team had the whole Clock End. All season ticket holders than had to be relocated throughout the stadium. This was much to the annoyance to the rank and file regulars. When we moved, high on the agenda was not having to move season ticket holders. So a decision was made that 24 & 25 would be general admission. That way for an FA Cup game, no one gets moved. I agree with this.
- With safe standing, those who want a return to the Clock End surely get their wish in the North Bank
So block 24 remains as is, general sale, and block 25 also remains as the Young Guns Enclosure / General Sale, with the club pushing the Young Guns Enclosure more and instructing the stewards in the area that they are their to ensure safety, not police. No need for lines of them kettling and restricting the Young Guns.
Skipping blocks 26 – 30 for now, we come to 31. 32 & 1. These remain the same. For the weirdos who want to sit behind the dug out, wearing fluorescent green clothing. As you were lads.
Blocks 2, 3 and 4 becomes the new family enclosure. Why move the family enclosure?
When I was a kid, I loved watching the team warm up. All kids do. The family enclosure should be on the side of the pitch the team warm up on. Also, in front of those blocks the subs warm up. Youngsters will love it. We need to think of all fans. I would also have these 3 blocks as no single cannon club tickets. IE if you are not going with a JG but are Cannon Club, you do not sit here.
I remember back at Highbury. The family enclosure was in the East Stand. When you became a Cannon Club member, unless you were buying a ticket with a Junior Gunner, you got your tickets in the West Stand, next to the away fans. It felt like a kind of promotion.
In the same thinking, block 5 would then become a Cannon Club block. With Cannon Club members who are not with a Junior Gunner. It is a step closer to the safe standing section, a step closer to adulthood.
But now we have blocks 2 – 5 where fans have been displaced. These basically go to where the family enclosure currently is. Blocks 26 – 30. Within these blocks, you take those who were in blocks 2 – 5 (it is an identical view) as well as the over fill from those who do not want to be in the safe standing and require relocating.
Club level remains wankers.
Upper Tier remains as is, unless more safe standing places arise and they wish to move down.
So my view of how the stadium should look (using paint):