For several years now, because of the success of English Fans' Safe Standing campaigns, safe standing licensing has been permitted in the UK, subject to Government approval. This policy change, coupled with increasingly more football clubs keen to implement more safe standing areas in their stadiums, has cast aspersions on what the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Safe Standing continues to stand for. Therefore, what is the purpose of this APPG?
This APPG has three key aims:
Education and Research
The APPG, first and foremost, is responsible for informing and educating both parliamentarians and the broader public about the benefits of implementing and streamlining 'good safe standing' practices up and down football stadiums across the United Kingdom. Additionally, the APPG conducts research, which we use to study and explore other forms of safe-standing railing designs that have been trialled and used outside the UK.
Quality Safe Standing
We aim to work closely with footballing and government institutions to encourage and campaign for as many clubs as possible to implement high-quality safe standing rail seating, improving the type of safe standing infrastructure made available for clubs to adopt in the UK. This will mean standing areas are developed to reflect higher levels of safety and maximise cost-effectiveness, benefitting fans and clubs collectively.
Reduction in ticket prices
To the great dismay of many fans, the way in which safe standing has been implemented in parts of England and Wales has yet to see a reduction in ticket prices for fans, even though standing at most sporting events is considered to be more affordable than sitting. By increasing the stadium capacity at games with the introduction of more effective safe standing rail seating as opposed to the type of safe standing, which is more widely used in the UK currently, clubs should be able to offer reduced ticket prices while at the same time increasing their revenue from the area than if it had been seating.
On the 16th of April 2023, with sponsorship from the Bristol FC Supporters Trust and logistical support from our Rail Seating Consultant, we as the Secretariat of the APPG along with its Chair, were able to organise a fact-finding trip to Germany to visit the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg. This visit was for the APPG to see first-hand the comprehensive application and use of German-style rail seating. This research has been essential for the APPG as it has helped shape some of our key policy ideas around what this APPG regards as one of the best examples of safe-standing practices.