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Rich

Concourse seating (lack of)

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Do other people think that it's about time some seating was provided in the concourse areas, for those that need to sit for a while?

I asked this question on the Q&A section,after taking my brother in law to a game last season, he hasn't been since.  He has certain mobility problems but can walk with assistance and we as a family would like to include him in our and his match day experience. As it turned out, we had to take him into the seated area and leave him there, then take him back down for the toilets, then back to the stand for the game, he was not able to be part of our group. After initial contact from Mark Kelly, no more was heard.

I've just asked this question over a week ago and nobody has replied as yet.

 

Q: Is there any update on providing some seating on the perimeter walls for those less able bodied souls that need to sit but, still want to enjoy the experience of being with other fans, family members, or friends, enjoying a drink and a chat, prior to or even after a match?

There are several areas where drop down seating could be installed, which would not cause any more of an obstruction than somebody standing against a wall.

The drop down seating itself would not cause an obstruction, as it sits close to the wall, closer than you'd walk to the wall anyway.

The seating cannot be classed as a fire hazard, otherwise it wouldn't be used in the stadium itself. 

The lack of seating in these areas, puts off many people from going into the concourse and spending their money in the food and drink outlets.

I find it amazing that two years on from the Dolman and South Stand developments being completed, and one year on for the Lansdown stand, there is still a lack of this facility for people with the need to sit. You find seating in all communal public areas, such as in theatres and cinema complexes, why not at football grounds.

I charge the club with doing something about this, sometimes you need to look after the less well off supporter, as well as those in the hospitality areas.

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3 minutes ago, Tipps69 said:

Health & safety won't allow it!! The club are trying to sort something out but it's really out of the clubs hands.

What about seating around the walls, benches or seats that spring back?

This would then prevent tripping, prevent blocking of gang ways, I guess this would of already been looked at, just a thought.

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Health and safety is a mysterious thing. The space we have in the concourses at the Gate is considerably more than most grounds we go to or in the Premiership. Can't see how we can't do some seating - we'd still be safer than most grounds. 

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It's very easy to site Health and safety as the reason. What could the reasons be?

We already have bins, pillars, taped off areas, bars in pinch points, people selling draw tickets in the concourse areas, causing obstructions. As I stated in my question, any so called health and safety issue should be easily overcome. There are many public areas with seating provided. It should not take two years to reach an agreement to provide basic facilities for those people that need to sit after a short time.

I believe it's more to do with cost and the lack of desire to get it provided.

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10 minutes ago, Rich said:

It's very easy to site Health and safety as the reason. What could the reasons be?

We already have bins, pillars, taped off areas, bars in pinch points, people selling draw tickets in the concourse areas, causing obstructions. As I stated in my question, any so called health and safety issue should be easily overcome. There are many public areas with seating provided. It should not take two years to reach an agreement to provide basic facilities for those people that need to sit after a short time.

I believe it's more to do with cost and the lack of desire to get it provided.

Surely with the amount of money that's been ploughed into the facilities we're not skimping over the cost of a few trestle tables? 

Seems a no brainer to implement if we are legally able to do so, so I'd imagine there's a valid reason that it's not there. Maybe @Mkelly could advise 

Edited by BRISTOL86

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3 minutes ago, BRISTOL86 said:

Surely with the amount of money that's been ploughed into the facilities we're not skimping over the cost of a few trestle tables? 

Seems a no brainer to implement if we are legally able to do so, so I'd imagine there's a valid reason that it's not there. Maybe @Mkelly could advise 

If only M Kelly would respond. The question was put on the Q&A section on August 21. I know he's been on that section as he's responded to others.

It's not tables that are required, it's seating, of the fold down variety, which can go onto perimeter walls and won't cause an obstruction, or a fire hazard. Just like those we have within the stadium, they don't even need backs. At the moment there are some low window cills that people perch on, if you get there soon enough.

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22 minutes ago, Toffee dog said:

What about seating around the walls, benches or seats that spring back?

This would then prevent tripping, prevent blocking of gang ways, I guess this would of already been looked at, just a thought.

See the previous post!   #2

Edited by Robbored

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2 minutes ago, Robbored said:

See the previous post!  

Just accept the old H&S get out answer eh? I'd wager there are seats in the corporate areas.

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7 minutes ago, Rich said:

If only M Kelly would respond. The question was put on the Q&A section on August 21. I know he's been on that section as he's responded to others.

It's not tables that are required, it's seating, of the fold down variety, which can go onto perimeter walls and won't cause an obstruction, or a fire hazard. Just like those we have within the stadium, they don't even need backs. At the moment there are some low window cills that people perch on, if you get there soon enough.

My point was more that cost surely isn't the issue given the vast investment in the stadium. Hopefully he can clear it up if he sees this. 

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Attended Wembley stadium recently for an ELO concert and there is extensive seating throughout the concourse! Our Sags stand on this does not make sense.

Edited by Ashtonboy

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1 minute ago, View from the Dolman said:

Anyone got examples of other concourses with seating?

I've seen some on level 2 at Wembley ("Club Wembley") but not sure I've seen it in "general admission" type areas.

I was thinking the same. Other than Wembley I can't ever recall seeing a seat in a concourse. I imagine there is a barrier besides cost. 

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1 minute ago, View from the Dolman said:

Anyone got examples of other concourses with seating?

I've seen some on level 2 at Wembley ("Club Wembley") but not sure I've seen it in "general admission" type areas.

Obviously the club Wembley members aren't considered worthy of health and safety concerns, in that stadium but, the general public (plebs) are.

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4 minutes ago, Blagdon red said:

I don't believe post #2.

I'd heard it before when the topic came up before and it made sense. 

We all know how crowded and hectic the concourse gets on a matchday and seats around the walls would reduce what space there is even more.

 

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17 minutes ago, BRISTOL86 said:

Surely with the amount of money that's been ploughed into the facilities we're not skimping over the cost of a few trestle tables? 

Seems a no brainer to implement if we are legally able to do so, so I'd imagine there's a valid reason that it's not there. Maybe @Mkelly could advise 

There will be a reason or even two..... but whether the reason/s are VALID or not will no doubt be debateable.

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4 minutes ago, BRISTOL86 said:

I was thinking the same. Other than Wembley I can't ever recall seeing a seat in a concourse. I imagine there is a barrier besides cost. 

I don't believe for one minute that health and safety concerns cannot be overcome, if there are any. While we have large numbers using the concourse facilities, there would seem less of a concern or hurry, to provide extra facilities, for people that are at present excluded.

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24 minutes ago, Toffee dog said:

What about seating around the walls, benches or seats that spring back?

This would then prevent tripping, prevent blocking of gang ways, I guess this would of already been looked at, just a thought.

Do you honestly think the club haven't investigated those options? They have tried various options & all have been rejected because if there is an emergency evacuation they could cause an accident!! 

Yes it's unlikely for the need of an emergency evacuation but that is basically H&S's stance on things.

24 minutes ago, Rich said:

It's very easy to site Health and safety as the reason. What could the reasons be?

We already have bins, pillars, taped off areas, bars in pinch points, people selling draw tickets in the concourse areas, causing obstructions. As I stated in my question, any so called health and safety issue should be easily overcome. There are many public areas with seating provided. It should not take two years to reach an agreement to provide basic facilities for those people that need to sit after a short time.

I believe it's more to do with cost and the lack of desire to get it provided.

Do you truly believe your last sentence? Because if you truly believe that after everything that has been spent to give you & everyone else a stadium to be proud of & that after spending more than £40m on giving you that stadium that they wouldn't add a few seats in the concourse because of cost, you clearly have no idea & very little gratitude for what has been supplied for you!!

May I suggest that if you think it's because the club can't afford it, why don't you offer to pay for it to be done yourself?

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5 minutes ago, Robbored said:

I'd heard it before when the topic came up before and it made sense. 

We all know how crowded and hectic the concourse gets on a matchday and seats around the walls would reduce what space there is even more.

 

People are the obstacles, if seating were of the drop down type, it would not cause an obstruction.

It's ok to have vendors trolleys blocking the concourse area, and bins plus many other things which provide income, but provide a seat for someone at a cost and H&S suddenly comes into it.

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10 minutes ago, Rich said:

Obviously the club Wembley members aren't considered worthy of health and safety concerns, in that stadium but, the general public (plebs) are.

I think there are almost certainly differences between the space available (on a per person basis) in the Club Wembley concourses and in the "general admission" areas. That's certainly my experience.

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8 minutes ago, Rich said:

I don't believe for one minute that health and safety concerns cannot be overcome, if there are any. While we have large numbers using the concourse facilities, there would seem less of a concern or hurry, to provide extra facilities, for people that are at present excluded.

I'm just saying if no football club in the country are doing it then there's obviously a reason that can't be overcome....

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6 minutes ago, Tipps69 said:

Do you honestly think the club haven't investigated those options? They have tried various options & all have been rejected because if there is an emergency evacuation they could cause an accident!! 

Yes it's unlikely for the need of an emergency evacuation but that is basically H&S's stance on things.

Do you truly believe your last sentence? Because if you truly believe that after everything that has been spent to give you & everyone else a stadium to be proud of & that after spending more than £40m on giving you that stadium that they wouldn't add a few seats in the concourse because of cost, you clearly have no idea & very little gratitude for what has been supplied for you!!

May I suggest that if you think it's because the club can't afford it, why don't you offer to pay for it to be done yourself?

If you read my post I said it was just a thought & guess the club had already looked at it!

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4 minutes ago, Tipps69 said:

Do you honestly think the club haven't investigated those options? They have tried various options & all have been rejected because if there is an emergency evacuation they could cause an accident!! 

Yes it's unlikely for the need of an emergency evacuation but that is basically H&S's stance on things.

Do you truly believe your last sentence? Because if you truly believe that after everything that has been spent to give you & everyone else a stadium to be proud of & that after spending more than £40m on giving you that stadium that they wouldn't add a few seats in the concourse because of cost, you clearly have no idea & very little gratitude for what has been supplied for you!!

May I suggest that if you think it's because the club can't afford it, why don't you offer to pay for it to be done yourself?

May I suggest that you take your head from out of your backside and show a little respect to a fellow supporter.

Of course I have considered all of those things you mention and yes, I do believe it's for the reasons I've stated. The ground has been developed to provide as much income as possible, That's why it's full of bars, shops and places to relieve you of your money.

Am I grateful, yes, of course I am but I'm not gullible or stupid enough to think the problem, if there truly is one, could not have been overcome by now, if there was a desire to so do.

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21 minutes ago, BRISTOL86 said:

I was thinking the same. Other than Wembley I can't ever recall seeing a seat in a concourse. I imagine there is a barrier besides cost. 

There is seating at Burton by the Food kiosk, in the away seating part,not much mind.

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6 minutes ago, Rich said:

May I suggest that you take your head from out of your backside and show a little respect to a fellow supporter.

Of course I have considered all of those things you mention and yes, I do believe it's for the reasons I've stated. The ground has been developed to provide as much income as possible, That's why it's full of bars, shops and places to relieve you of your money.

Am I grateful, yes, of course I am but I'm not gullible or stupid enough to think the problem, if there truly is one, could not have been overcome by now, if there was a desire to so do.

So every club in the country lacks the desire to 'overcome the obstacles' to provide can concourse seating? 

I don't know if it IS a healh and safety issue or not, but if the HSE say you can't do something, then you can't do something. Doesn't matter how much 'desire' there is. 

I don't believe for one second that the club are wilfully not installing seats in the concourse because it costs too much. 

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8 minutes ago, Ashtonboy said:

Attended Wembley stadium recently for an ELO concert and there is extensive seating throughout the concourse! Our Sags stand on this does not make sense.

They were eventually fitted only after around 10,538 overtures were made to the right people though.

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2 minutes ago, Kingcider said:

There is seating at Burton by the Food kiosk, in the away seating part,not much mind.

Fair shout! I've never had the pleasure of Burton! 

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The club are as frustrated as you are about this, it's something so basic & so easy but simply put, if the club installed seats in the concourse, it would mean no fans being allowed in the stadium as the club wouldn't get the necessary safety certificates!!

What would you prefer?

BTW, makes no difference to me as I've been unable to attend a game for 2 & a half years but I can assure you it has nothing to do with cost (although I still think you must be joking about that being a reason).

How many people do you think may injure / fall over such seating while entering / exiting the stadium? Those that then fall could get stood on & then you have a massive incident on your hands. And just imagine the legal proceedings that would be lodged against the club for injuries or worse!!

Yes it's extreme but it is very much a possibility especially when 20,000 people are all trying to exit & people are in such a rush, not everyone is 30 years old & able bodied but everyone exits the stadium at the same time.

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2 minutes ago, BRISTOL86 said:

So every club in the country lacks the desire to 'overcome the obstacles' to provide can concourse seating? 

I don't know if it IS a healh and safety issue or not, but if the HSE say you can't do something, then you can't do something. Doesn't matter how much 'desire' there is. 

I don't believe for one second that the club are wilfully not installing seats in the concourse because it costs too much. 

I'm saying that I don't believe there is a desire to do it. As such it is not a priority. And that probably goes for all football clubs. Though obviously some (Burton) no doubt there are others, do provide seating.

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16 minutes ago, Rich said:

May I suggest that you take your head from out of your backside and show a little respect to a fellow supporter.

Of course I have considered all of those things you mention and yes, I do believe it's for the reasons I've stated. The ground has been developed to provide as much income as possible, That's why it's full of bars, shops and places to relieve you of your money.

Am I grateful, yes, of course I am but I'm not gullible or stupid enough to think the problem, if there truly is one, could not have been overcome by now, if there was a desire to so do.

My head is just fine where it is, I just don't buy into this common occurrence of blaming the club for everything that they can or can't do.

And to blame it on the club not being willing to spend the money is quite honestly ridiculous after supplying the facilities they have & at the cost that they have.

Unfortunately there are just some things that are out of the clubs hands & it's not for the want of trying.

Edited by Tipps69
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5 minutes ago, Tipps69 said:

The club are as frustrated as you are about this, it's something so basic & so easy but simply put, if the club installed seats in the concourse, it would mean no fans being allowed in the stadium as the club wouldn't get the necessary safety certificates!!

What would you prefer?

BTW, makes no difference to me as I've been unable to attend a game for 2 & a half years but I can assure you it has nothing to do with cost (although I still think you must be joking about that being a reason).

How many people do you think may injure / fall over such seating while entering / exiting the stadium? Those that then fall could get stood on & then you have a massive incident on your hands. And just imagine the legal proceedings that would be lodged against the club for injuries or worse!!

Yes it's extreme but it is very much a possibility especially when 20,000 people are all trying to exit & people are in such a rush, not everyone is 30 years old & able bodied but everyone exits the stadium at the same time.

Have you actually been in the areas I refer to then, because if you haven't been for two and a half years, you wouldn't know that there are many obstacles situated around and through the concourse which cause obstructions. Unfortunately, apart from bins, they mostly produce some form of income. The area under the Dolman stand is more than adequate to accommodate hundreds of seating around the perimeter. And there are several areas within the South Stand and Lansdown stand which could also provide seating without causing obstruction.

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16 minutes ago, Kingcider said:

There is seating at Burton by the Food kiosk, in the away seating part,not much mind.

 

14 minutes ago, BRISTOL86 said:

Fair shout! I've never had the pleasure of Burton! 

Without it how else do you think GJ was planning to bare his arse in the window?

Edited by WhistleHappy
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2 minutes ago, View from the Dolman said:

Is that outdoors? Think there was a small kiosk just inside the turnstiles and there wasn't a concourse?

Behind our seated area,next to the Food kiosk,in the small Concourse,opposite a telly I think.

 

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4 minutes ago, Tipps69 said:

My head is just fine where it is, I just don't buy into this common occurrence of blaming the club for everything that they can or can't do.

And to blame it on the club not being willing to spend the money is quite honestly ridiculous after supplying the facilities they have & at the cost that they have.

Unfortunately there are just some things that are out of the clubs hands & it's not for the want of trying.

I think you misunderstand what I'm saying. I'm not saying the club won't provide seating purely down to the cost. I'm saying that they won't invest voluntarily because, they think the retail income is providing sufficient levels, that they don't feel the need to provide it.

You make statements as if you are part of the decision making process, or in the know, regarding what happens within the stadium and the regulations regarding H&S and, how they hinder the club in it's operations. Can you inform me of the discussions that you know have taken place between the club and the safety advisory group regarding concourse seating. I would genuinely like to know.

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5 minutes ago, Rich said:

Have you actually been in the areas I refer to then, because if you haven't been for two and a half years, you wouldn't know that there are many obstacles situated around and through the concourse which cause obstructions. Unfortunately, apart from bins, they mostly produce some form of income. The area under the Dolman stand is more than adequate to accommodate hundreds of seating around the perimeter. And there are several areas within the South Stand and Lansdown stand which could also provide seating without causing obstruction.

Yes I have been, I had a complete ground tour & asked the question as to why there was no seating or tables throughout the entire concourse & the response I got was that the club have explored every avenue but have been given the same answers & they are as frustrated as everyone else but they really do have no option.

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2 minutes ago, Tipps69 said:

Yes I have been, I had a complete ground tour & asked the question as to why there was no seating or tables throughout the entire concourse & the response I got was that the club have explored every avenue but have been given the same answers & they are as frustrated as everyone else but they really do have no option.

That's what I was told, over a year ago, I don't believe it.

Thousands of people rush through airport terminals every hour, and there are seating areas. You get them in corridors, in public areas within cinemas and theatres, outside courtrooms, in bus stations, in fact most public areas provide some seating.

I believe, as in other instances, football supporters are treated more shabbily than other members of the human race. Whether that be by the clubs or the SAGS it still boils down to the same thing. Plebs.

I'm more than willing to be proven wrong though, perhaps someone can provide the legislation regarding football stadia having different rules than other public areas.

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2 minutes ago, Rich said:

I think you misunderstand what I'm saying. I'm not saying the club won't provide seating purely down to the cost. I'm saying that they won't invest voluntarily because, they think the retail income is providing sufficient levels, that they don't feel the need to provide it.

You make statements as if you are part of the decision making process, or in the know, regarding what happens within the stadium and the regulations regarding H&S and, how they hinder the club in it's operations. Can you inform me of the discussions that you know have taken place between the club and the safety advisory group regarding concourse seating. I would genuinely like to know.

The club would make more money from their food / drinks outlets if people had somewhere to sit / put their food / drink because as things stand it is more or less impossible for anyone to have a boiling hot drink in one hand & eat a pie with just one hand, so the club know people won't buy 2 things (or more) at once because it is virtually impossible to consume what they have bought without spilling or dropping what they've bought.

I was able to ask the question on a one on one basis, face to face with the staff member, so there wasn't lots of people trying to ask various questions, his attention was fully on what I was saying / asking & my attention was fully on what he had to say as I didn't have to listen to other people asking questions & him having to answer them.

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5 minutes ago, Rich said:

That's what I was told, over a year ago, I don't believe it.

Thousands of people rush through airport terminals every hour, and there are seating areas. You get them in corridors, in public areas within cinemas and theatres, outside courtrooms, in bus stations, in fact most public areas provide some seating.

I believe, as in other instances, football supporters are treated more shabbily than other members of the human race. Whether that be by the clubs or the SAGS it still boils down to the same thing. Plebs.

I'm more than willing to be proven wrong though, perhaps someone can provide the legislation regarding football stadia having different rules than other public areas.

But cinemas & airports etc don't have concourses.

There is nothing stopping anyone from taking their food or drinks (non alcoholic) into the stadium are to their seats, the same as there is nothing stopping anyone from taking their food & drinks into the cinema or airport waiting areas.

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2 minutes ago, Tipps69 said:

The club would make more money from their food / drinks outlets if people had somewhere to sit / put their food / drink because as things stand it is more or less impossible for anyone to have a boiling hot drink in one hand & eat a pie with just one hand, so the club know people won't buy 2 things (or more) at once because it is virtually impossible to consume what they have bought without spilling or dropping what they've bought.

I was able to ask the question on a one on one basis, face to face with the staff member, so there wasn't lots of people trying to ask various questions, his attention was fully on what I was saying / asking & my attention was fully on what he had to say as I didn't have to listen to other people asking questions & him having to answer them.

I'm glad you are happy to accept that answer from the club employee you spoke to.

As I have witnessed, because I have been there, the bars are selling more than one item per customer, as most customers have two hands and actually are, capable of holding a pie/pasty in one hand and a drink in their other hand. Many purchases are of two pints at a time, in those cases the floor is used to rest the other drink and the person stands over it, protecting it like a small child.

Honestly, takings are massive, and as a result, like in most instances of retail, they don't have to try too hard to make oodles of cash. Why do any more than they have to? 

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5 minutes ago, Tipps69 said:

But cinemas & airports etc don't have concourses.

There is nothing stopping anyone from taking their food or drinks (non alcoholic) into the stadium are to their seats, the same as there is nothing stopping anyone from taking their food & drinks into the cinema or airport waiting areas.

What on earth are you talking about? The whole area at the front entrance to Bristol airport is a concourse. The areas outside multiplex cinemas are concourses, it's where people congregate before going into the cinema or airport lounges and internal concourses.

My family group would like to include my brother in law within that group, when we attend football matches. Because there is no seating in the concourse area, you are suggesting that we all go to the stadium seating and partake in our refreshments in the cold soulless bowl prior to kick off time. You have now just hit the nail on the head, we want to enjoy the concourse facilities, as a group, we cannot presently do that. What happens now is, we go our separate ways prior to a match, my brother in law does not attend, and as such probably two other members of the family also don't attend.

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I can see the interest in having seating in the concourse areas but it is never going to happen.  Too many hot potatoes, who would want to sign that off as a "yes / go ahead" to then take responsibility when a serious incident arises.  Even around the edges HSE would have major concerns but don't forget there would be concerns also from Fire & Rescue Service and critically the stadium liability insurers.

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HSE, SAG and fire safety certificates.

Particularly the last bit but they would all feed into each other IMO in the event of a fire taking hold for example, seconds count.

Concrete doesn't burn yes, but there are other serious complexities. I suspect that, along with space ratio differences at Wembley someone alluded to will see clubs and especially licensing bodies err on side of caution. 

 

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23 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

HSE, SAG and fire safety certificates.

Particularly the last bit but they would all feed into each other IMO in the event of a fire taking hold for example, seconds count.

Concrete doesn't burn yes, but there are other serious complexities. I suspect that, along with space ratio differences at Wembley someone alluded to will see clubs and especially licensing bodies err on side of caution. 

 

The SAGS are a combination of these people, are they not? They do err on the side of caution but, the seating within the ground is plastic, the bins with rubbish in them are plastic and an obstruction, the portable booths are an obstruction, the lane segregation at the food/drink outlets are an obstruction, a person with no seat, that sits on the floor is an obstruction, locating a food and drink outlet at the narrowest part of the concourse is an obstruction. There is room for seating within the large concourses without the risk to health and safety of the people using the concourses. I'd say it's down to interpretation and our SAGS interpret the rules more stringently than perhaps other groups. I think our club need to challenge this for the benefit of those less able bodied, who'd like to enjoy the facilities of the concourse.

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37 minutes ago, Float'n Over said:

I can see the interest in having seating in the concourse areas but it is never going to happen.  Too many hot potatoes, who would want to sign that off as a "yes / go ahead" to then take responsibility when a serious incident arises.  Even around the edges HSE would have major concerns but don't forget there would be concerns also from Fire & Rescue Service and critically the stadium liability insurers.

The restrictions on stairs and gangways within the stadium should be much more of a concern than the wide spaces within the concourse. Access is much worse within the stadium.

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