One more change is coming to Etihad Stadium in the near future. Installation of 5,620 rail seats has been confirmed by the Cityzens. These will accept fans after the current Premier League campaign.
In a special statement released on Tuesday, Manchester City have confirmed that installation of safe standing sections at Etihad Stadium will take place during the summer break.
The planned conversion will cover all of the lower tier behind the southern goal, including corner sections. In total this will result in 5,620 rail seats being installed in areas most affected by the issue of ‘persistent standing’.
The club has already consulted local safety authorities and the Sports Ground Safety Authority. The move follows overwhelming support for safe standing among supporters, as exemplified in a survey on the matter among season ticket holders in 2018.
While current legislation doesn’t formally allow standing in seated areas, rail seating increases safety of fans where they choose to stand despite regulations. Conversion makes Etihad Stadium ready for legal changes, which are expected to be introduced sooner than later.
Support for safe standing is at an all-time high, with clubs wither installing rail seats already or conducting studies as to how such areas could be accommodated.
For Manchester City it's already the second major structural change announced in recent days. In order to capitalise on advertising during the empty-stadium period, Etihad Stadium will lose up to 3 front rows that will be replaced by digital signage.