Premier League football club Liverpool has announced that its rail seating trial at Anfield will be expanded following an initial installation last season.
The initial trial saw 7,800 seats with rail seating installed across the Kop and the lower tier of the Anfield Road Stand. During the ongoing winter break for the Fifa World Cup, Liverpool will fit an additional 2,500 rail seats in the Kop.
The expansion will be across blocks 202-306, rows 61-49 of the Kop and will take the total rail seats in the stand to 4,300. Work will commence immediately and the seats will take around five weeks to install.
The initial rail seating was installed in two areas of Anfield following a safety review by the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA), which highlighted that persistent standing in the Kop and the Anfield Road lower tier was an issue that needed to be addressed to ensure supporters’ safety.
The SGSA’s report has found that safety rails increase safety within all-seater stadiums. Season ticket holders affected by the latest installation will be contacted in due course to explain the changes and how they will impact them.
The rail seating at Anfield includes normal stadium seats with an integrated safety rail behind them to avoid a crowd collapse. The design is to enable fans to stand safely at key moments in the game such as goal celebrations, but supporters are urged to revert to their seat at other times.
Liverpool stressed that the rail seating is not a ‘safe standing’ area, with Anfield remaining an all-seater stadium. The initial phase of the pilot received positive feedback from supporters and the expansion of rail seating will be reviewed again at the end of the current season.
Andy Hughes, managing director at Liverpool, said: “Following a review of the initial rail seating trial last season, we will now expand the trial and introduce rail seating in additional areas of the Kop to further address crowd safety and persistent standing in line with SGSA guidance.
“The health and safety of our supporters when attending matches at Anfield is paramount. As we have said before, it is essential that we listen to the experts and deliver their recommendations to address this important safety issue.”
The Premier League season resumes on December 26. Liverpool’s first home fixture after the break will be against Leicester City on December 30.