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QPR to install rail seating next season

English Championship football club Queens Park Rangers has detailed plans to install rail seating at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium next season.

The rail seating will be fitted in the Loftus Road Lower Stand after more than 74% of fans surveyed confirmed this would be their preferred location for its roll-out.

As a result, 1,063 seats in the stand will be converted into rail seating ahead of the 2022-23 season. The stand will have a combination of both seated and rail seating available, with the implementation to also require changes to the Family Stand.

Blocks NL and PL in the Lower Loft and PU in the Upper Loft will therefore become designated family areas, with families in these areas to still receive access to all family facilities in the stand, including the matchday activities room.

A number of upgrades will be made in the stand, including additional food and drink facilities within the Upper and Lower Loft.

The announcement of rail seating at Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium comes after five clubs across the Premier League and Championship introduced licensed safe-standing areas at their stadiums on January 1.

Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Cardiff City were confirmed as the five clubs to take part in the trial by UK Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston in November.

The roll-out of rail seating marks the first time that standing has been allowed in the top two tiers of English football in nearly 30 years.

In a statement released in November, the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) said the announcement built on the success of the Government’s all-seater policy, which was brought in following the Lord Taylor report into the Hillsborough disaster, which led to the deaths of 97 Liverpool fans.

Fans have campaigned for safe standing to be reintroduced for a number of years, with independent research having been carried out to explore the possibility. The research has identified any potential safety risks related to persistent standing, as well as the positive impact engineering solutions, such as seats incorporating barriers or independent barriers, can have.

Research is being carried out at the five clubs’ grounds this season to assess the potential wider roll-out of safe standing from the start of the 2022-23 season.