First RailSeats installed, soon 3,000 will be made available to Celtic fans as they prepare to a derby opening their Premiership season.
Installation of first railings and seats (both part of the RailSeat system) by Ferco began on Thursday. From that day onwards up to 3,000 will be mounted in the 111-113 sections of Celtic Park. The process will end before season opener against another Glasgow team, Partick Thistle (Aug 13).
The ongoing installation ends a few years of efforts by Celtic, who were the first Scottish club expressing interest in safe standing after it was legalized in late 2011. The Bhoys managed to receive approval from the Safety Advisory Group and other authorities for this pilot programme that will be watched throughout Scotland and beyond.
Just like Celtic, the largest organization of football supporters in Great Britain, FSF, has been campaigning for 5 years now to re-establish standing as option for supporters in the Premier League and Championship, among other leagues. Despite growing momentum, the campaign is yet to succeed and Celtic’s pilot may be a great proof that rail seating is a sensible alternative to all-seater stadia.
Similar system is working already in several European countries, including Germany and Hungary. It was also contemplated in latest Polish stadium, Arena Zabrze, but wasn’t selected partly due to legal issues. Recently however Poland joined countries that allow safe standing and first similar sections should only be a matter of time. Similar hopes are surely shared by English fans as Celtic prepare to their first season.
Fot: Ferco Seating