There’s little doubt that the transition to all-seater stadia has had an effect on the atmosphere in football grounds.
The Emirates stadium boasts the widest, most comfortable seats in the Premier League, but it’s also not exactly the most intimidating of arenas.
That comfort, according to Arsene Wenger, has a direct impact on the level of support that fans provide their teams.
“The more comfortable you are the less supportive you are,” he said.
“When you stand up you support better than when you’re in your seat. So if you imagine you’re lying down in a chair, you’re less supportive.
“The vocal aspect of the game is linked with the position of the supporters.”
It’s tacit approval of safe-standing, but the manager has been quite explicit about that on previous occasions. Speaking about that particular issue last year, he said, “I feel the closer you are to the positions of the players, the more passionate you are about it.
“As well because it would allow lower prices because you could get more spectators inside the stadiums, and maybe a more passionate atmosphere.”
Last week the AST released the results of a survey of Arsenal fans which showed overwhelming support for safe-standing, but it remains to be seen how far the club are willing to go to support what is a growing movement – not just among Arsenal fans.
Would be amazing to have the North Bank and Clock End standing again. Remember my first game, league cup against Forest in 93 and even though there was just the clock End because north bank was being done the atmosphere was amazing
Er….. I think you’ll find that they are already standing areas. I haven’t sat in my seat for years. Early attempts to make us sit were quickly thwarted by someone starting the “Stand up if hate Totnum” chant. Great seats to lean against though and pretty safe, unlike Wembley’s little buckets.
I think Wenger’s point is, standing allows more people into the area, the type of fans who enjoy standing and cheering. It’s great that people are already choosing to stand; however, safe-standing would bring in even more of the same. More fans, shoulders-to-shoulders, not in pockets. If this is considered, I’m sure there will be some numbers crunching at Arsenal to maximize profits. They know they have to lower the price sufficiently to attract enough fans to profit over the removed seats. It would be ridiculous if attendance is lowered because people think, it’s not worth it for them to… Read more »
Blocks 10 and 11 are already standing areas.
Once again Arsene’s speaking nonsense.
It has nothing to do with comfort and more to do with the passionate, vociferous support has either been priced out or chased away but a decade long policy of jam tomorrow. Replacing the seats with metal spikes won’t change that.
So you’re saying that comfort has absolutely NOTHING to do with it and that it is ENTIRELY down to proper fans being priced-out/alienated?
You don’t think that it’s even remotely possible that it could be both?
I think comfort ranks very low on the reasons why the atmosphere is poor.
As well as the two I give, apathy, boredom and a sense of inertia all rank higher than comfort
Once again John C speaking nonsense.
It has everything to do with Ignoring facts and figures and using any opportunity to bash monsieur wenger.
Enlighten me on what these facts and figures are?
I can give you one indisputable fact. You always moan.
Happy with today’s performance were you?
You get my up vote for ‘metal spikes’. During some of our dismal performances, fans felt sitting on metal spikes.
Exactly, watching Arsenal these past several years has been anything but comfortable, in fact the complete opposite, horribly uncomfortable. I defy anyone to tell me when they watch this team, whether at home or in the stands they feel comfortable.
The only person who sits in comfort is Wenger as he isn’t accountable.
If only you would be there. The entire country would here you whinge.
Arsenal Hierarchy: “Wenger has a point. In order to ‘increase the vocal presence’ of our fans, we will hereby remove all seating in the stadium. Stadium capacity will therefore be increased to 110,000. We are doing this to improve our vocal presence and provide a much stronger vocal support to our team. We are always planning for this clubs best interests. You should consider yourself lucky you have us.” Random fan: ” Yaaaay! That means ticket pricing will be reduced to half!!” Arsenal Hierarchy: “Would like to add to the earlier statement, Ticket pricing will henceforth be decreased by a… Read more »
Arsenal Hierarchy: “Just a quick clarification, that’s 49 pence, not 50. (in honor of our 49 games unbeaten run)”
keep asking about a singing section if they made the north bank a standing section behind the goal would create both revenue and atmosphere, we need to make the Emirates loud like the away supporters create on their travels
The away fans never sit down and also pay less for most games and hardcore fans make more noise than the spread around the stadium home fans added to the tourists at home games and people around me moaning when we stand up because fans in front have and we want to see!! 2 safestanding sections, Northbank and Clockend, would 100% improve the atmosphere no question. Bring it on asap.
When Emirates opened the season tickets in the North Bank corner were allocated and advised to buyers as being the Singing Area. Not behind the goals as those were more expensive!
Where I sit in the north lower we already effectively have safe standing. The only time we sit down is half time. The stewards used to make us sit down but seem to have given up on that for the last couple of seasons. So on this it might be one to give the club a bit of credit, unusually.
I also stand in the North Bank Lower, and I reckon safe standing would be a big step up from what we have at the moment. Smaller seats would lead to a more “packed in” crowd, which inevitably leads to more noise.
we don’t sit in block 19, next to the away fans, who also obviously don’t sit
We were a bit unlucky in that when we moved grounds, designing a stadium for atmosphere was very rare. Much more important were ensuring sightlines and comfort for all supporters. In order to make the Emirates into a seriously atmospheric ground I’d venture it would take a lot more than putting in smaller seats. The stands are too shallow, the lower tier is too small and the spectators are too far from the pitch. In a dream world, I’d love to see the entire lower tier (which is situated below podium level) dismantled and the pitch and surrounding area lowered… Read more »
Spot on UMG. Would be brilliant if club followed your ideas! Having the fans closer to the pitch almost on top of IT etc. similar to Allianz (Bayern who have a similar capacity) would make a hell of a difference to the atmosphere. Barca, Real, Dortmund stand etc. all close to pitch. You were right, the design of our stadium at the time wasn’t made with atmosphere as much in mind (the shallowness of our lower tier is proof of this). In an ideal world I would implement your ideas and add another higher tier (I know we couldn’t because… Read more »
Cheers fella. Great to hear I’m not alone in my views and I think your attitude of using the extra capacity to help the local community is spot on – again something very lacking when we moved grounds!! I’ve always found it a bit strange that whenever expansion is mentioned, people instinctively think the way to do it would be to build up. Not only would that involve completely removing the roof and upper tier, it also requires completely surrounding the ground with 40m+ cranes and lifting all the damned concrete and steel up there! We have ample room around… Read more »
The Emirates needs serious work doing to it in order to make it into an atmospheric stadium, not just the introduction of less comfortable seats, in my opinion. The entire lower tier (which is below podium level anyway) would need taking out, the pitch and surrounding area would need lowering and a new lower tier would have to be put in which was steeper, involved tighter-packed seats (or safe standing) and brought the front spectators closer to the field of play. This would be doable, as the main stadium infrastructure is situated away from the rake of the seating, but… Read more »
Not to mention the club would do well to consider a reduced rate for vocal younger supporters (18-25 year olds get 25% off an ST behind the goal, say) to safeguard the future of the singing support. I stand in the North Bank Lower and it’s remarkable how aging the core support is at the home games!
As the man who single handedly built the stadium this is your fault
Wenger shouldn’t knock us fans. If they want more support lower the ticket prices and stop selling so many to tourist. I have been at games where people turn up 10mins late have a picture and don’t come back after half time. If you want to talk about people being too comfortable and hurting the club look at the players and the manager.
It’s not just tourists. How many season ticket holders get there late, spend most of the match up and down to the loo because they’ve drunk too much (one at a time to irritate the most), leave early at half time to get some more pints in, come back late after half time, repeat performance second half and leave ten minutes early to miss the queue at the tube station. And all the time moaning. It’s fucking annoying. Having said that, with some of the matches we’ve had to watch lately it’s not surprising. It’s become a sort of vicious… Read more »
I agree Vonnie. Some people are just there to pose – and I mean here a number of season ticket holders (who really fancy themselves!) not tourists or global/european fans or those british or Irish fans not living in London or regions. Those supporters who maybe only get to go to only one game (or a few a year) or are making a pilgrimage (might have been a supporter all their lives and never had the opportunity etc.). It’s special and important for them and not taken for granted. I have noticed it over the years and I often ask… Read more »
Thanks Flashman, couldn’t have said it better.
Great write mate! Haha just abhit all over the olace but good points haha
I remember suooorting arsenal at 13 or 12 years old since 2004 and i finally made my dream come true in 2012 at 19 or 20 by going to london and finally seeing arsenal live.. i went to a man utd and new castle or west ham game the first we lost one nil to an awesome cross by paul scholes and the second was an fa cup match i believe it wa 2-0 at half time the i wss in the upper tiers with my friends family who i dragged by the neck and scarf to the game haha… Read more »
The guy sat next to me on Wednesday, must have seen about half the match if that, I don’t understand people who turn up late, keep disappearing and leave early, why even come at all, then latecomers who struggle to even find their seat, really
The tourists can only get tickets through a membership ticket selling theirs on. So as members, go to the matches!
Some tourists are hardcore gonners eho oay lifetime savings bud
Not just standing, but it might be worth considering how many more people they could fit in if they were to make the seats smaller. Say each average seat was 50cm wide, and they reduced them by 5cm to 45. Say there were currently 50,000 of those seats. Would a 10% reduction in seat width increase the number of seats available by 5,000? Mightn’t that be good for atmosphere and, theoretically, slightly lightening the financial load on customers? Or would the reduction in comfort be too much for the fans to bear? I think it’s one way to address the… Read more »
More people might also affect the regulations around emergency exits, food outlets, toilets, etc. So there may need bigger works required then just reducing seat sizes or making it standing only.
I like to believe though the club has taken the issue seriously and should already have atleast investigated the issues around standing areas and smaller seats.
I don’t think this would allow a larger attendance as the limit of 60,050 was set by the local council due to the limited transport available.
Even though we have more options than our neighbours, they have a more supportive local council.
I don’t think supportive is the right word, more that our neighbours had the council over a barrel. It’s actually sickening how little Sp*rs are putting back into Haringey compared to the likes of Arsenal
Fans are usually still in shock working out how to recover the price of season tickets, entry,food and drinks to muster adequate support for tge team!
Hmmm, I dunno. This is one o those things that is said, due to Wenger’s erudite nature and clear intelligence, may sound true when it isn’t. Let’s be honest, if tickets were much cheaper, I don’t think we would be here talking about comfortable seats being the cause. Is it comfy seats, or is it the comfy level of corporate tickets and folks the club have gone out of their way to attract? Most of the corporate attendees aren’t even arsenal fans from my experience, why would they get excited? Also is it the nature and culture of the atmosphere… Read more »
Arsene wenger a true football man