Oxford United considers safe seating at Kassam Stadium

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As safe standing is becoming a popular option among stadium owners, it is reported that lower league English soccer side Oxford United FC is also exploring the possibility of introducing the feature to its Kassam Stadium.

In a report by the Oxford Mail, it is understood that the club is looking at a “ground-breaking” concept of installing a safety rail in sections of its East and North stands, which it is calling ‘Ox-Rail’.

The feature would allow for those sections of the stadium to still remain seated but will also allow for fans who wish to stand during the game, without the risk of a progressive crowd collapse.

“Although a timeframe cannot be placed on completion of the project, the next stage will see the installation of a test build of an Ox-Rail, in front of a single row of seats in the East Stand, to allow the safety barrier to undergo rigorous testing,” Ian Mixter, head of crowd safety at Oxford United, was quoted as saying in the local newspaper.

“The safety of spectators, both home and away, is paramount and the club is committed to ensuring that this groundbreaking concept complies with the safety standards required by the regulating authorities.”

Safe standing is currently in use at a number of European clubs and is also being seen on new stadia being built for MLS teams in the effort to recreate a European-style fan atmosphere.

Recently, over 100,000 people signed a petition to bring the seating technology to stadia in the top two tiers of English soccer (the Premier League and The Championship).

May 16, 2018

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James has been Editor of Stadia since 2018 having worked at magazines and websites around the world for the past 10 years covering everything from technology to motoring and more. He also edits Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International.

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