Stunning 96% of supporters are in favour of safe standing at Emirates Stadium in the largest survey covering the subject.
There never was such an extensive survey of Arsenal fans on the issue of safe standing. In February and March the Arsenal Supporters' Trust asked 7,239 people how they felt about the idea of introduction of safe standing at Emirates Stadium.
Not surprisingly, the opinions were overwhelmingly in favour. What may be surprising is the scale. Massive 96% feel there should be such sections at their stadium and only 20% of them would not wish to stand themselves while letting others occupy such sections. Yes, 76% of surveyed Arsenal fans wish to stand during games.
This conviction is almost equally strong regardless of which group of fans you ask. Ethnic minorities, LGBT fans and female supporters all were strongly in favour, even if women leaned towards allowing others to stand rather than using safe standing personally. Another group in which this was the case even more were seniors (over 60 years), though that seems to be quite natural. 31% of them would stand personally and further 54% allow others.
Possibly the most important data commercially is that from fans attending fewer than 10 games per season. Many of them suggest they would likely come more frequently if allowed to stand during games and thus have a better matchday experience.
Of course Arsenal sells out regularly, which makes it secondary. Yet it’s also relevant as an indicator of what should change for fans to enjoy games more than they do at present. For a club that spent a fortune to make the stadium ‘less soulless’ over the past few years this should be worth knowing.
Almost all of the 7,000+ supporters feel Arsenal are not doing enough about safe standing. 94% feel the club should champion the issue. 92% are of the opinion that Emirates Stadium should be offered for safe standing trials. And 85% suggest running consultation with season ticket holders.
All of the above data is interesting, speaks volume and should be considered by Arsenal. Still, something tells us it won’t change a thing for the time being. Even so, it’s good that this is making headlines today for the club not to be able to ignore it and be aware that supporters are watching what happens about safe standing.