#SBS24 next month in Manchester! Welcome Wembley Stadium, Oxford United, Juventus FC, Sodexo Live!, Croke Park, Sviby, Stadio Algarve, Keppie Design, Everbank Stadium, Kulture City, PAM, Duracell/Procell, Trusts Arena, Worldpay, Suncorp Stadium... Join them
Driving your revenues, sustainability and fan experience: #SBS24 – 15th annual TheStadiumBusiness Summit in Manchester on 17-18-19 June

Design & Development

Southampton to introduce safe standing at St Mary’s Stadium

Images: Southampton FC

English Championship football club Southampton is preparing to implement a new safe standing area in the Northam Stand at St Mary’s Stadium.

This comes as part of efforts to make the stand an area exclusively for home fans “to enhance the matchday atmosphere”. The proposed changes are the result of fan feedback, with the club, which was relegated from the Premier League last season and currently sits third in the Championship, stating that it has been working with acoustics experts to maximise the results.

Subsequently, away fans, who currently share the Northam Stand with home supporters, will be moved to another area of the stadium while an “ideal space” will be found for the family stand.

“Our fans are the heart of the club and we want to create the best possible atmosphere for years to come, so we’re excited to be making these important upgrades to St Mary’s,” said Southampton chief executive, Phil Parsons.

“We’ve been listening to fan feedback and we know moving the away end, to create a full home end in the Northam, is something a lot of our fans have been wanting for a long time. (Coach) Russell (Martin) and the team support the changes and are looking forward to playing in front of a full home Northam end.

“We’re a club trying to make things happen on and off the pitch and challenge the status quo.”

Mike Sadler, Fan Advisory Board co-chair, added: “For many years, Saints fans have said that having the Northam end split between home and away fans has reduced the atmosphere and helped away teams. The Fan Advisory Board represents fans and support the club in their decision to create a full Northam end.​

“We think this will greatly improve the atmosphere, and really help the team. We’re delighted this is now going to happen and we look forward to helping the club progress this exciting project together with our fanbase.” ​

St Mary’s Stadium opened in August 2001 after being built for £32m (€37m/($40.5m) and has a capacity of 32,384. The Northam Stand is currently home to the majority of regular supporters as well as visiting fans. Away fans can be given up to 15% of the stadium’s capacity for some fixtures.

Earlier this month, Premier League clubs Luton Town and AFC Bournemouth also announced that they will introduce safe standing at their stadiums.

At Kenilworth Road, Luton is aiming to have the first section of safe standing installed in the home end in time for the club’s match against Manchester United on February 18. Bournemouth, meanwhile, is looking at its fixture against Manchester City on February 24 for completion at the Vitality Stadium.