Are terraces coming to a future American soccer stadium?

From today’s WaPo chat with Kevin Payne:

(Emphasis mine)

Do you think the addition of standing areas (presumably for supporters clubs) would be 1) a good and fun idea and 2) safe for those involved?


13 thoughts on “Are terraces coming to a future American soccer stadium?

  1. “standing room areas” are not for us to decide. Mr. Payne is going to have to negotiate with his local building code officials on that one and I would expect it to be a tough sell.

  2. well if they have railings between every row like some of the German stadiums have now, I can’t see why that would be any less safe than standing in a row of seats.

  3. I would highly doubt that Mr. Payne means terraces. I suspect he’s referring to areas around the concourse where you can stand to watch the game.

    At the top of the seated section behind the goal at Columbus Crew Stadium there is room to stand and watch the game. That’s what I’m imagining.

    World soccer has had too many problems with crowd problems at terraces so I doubt MLS would move to allow this. Also, FIFA required all German stadiums that hosted World Cup matches to get rid of their terraces.

    Plus, the only groups that would likely benefit from terraces are the Barra and the Eagles. However, if he also wants to put in bouncing stands, he’s not likely going to get both.

  4. Houston has, and has had for some time now, terraces at the Rob. Well, terrace-like, anyways.

    Hopefully something similar is in the works for our new stadium.

  5. I can’t immagine that the MLS would begin to have the same problem with the terraces as other leagues have had. I just don’t see that same “win or die” hooliganism going on here.

  6. Hillsborough is what people think of though when standing room is involved. It has nothing to do with hooliganism, just the rush of people into a space where there is no defined spot for people.

  7. Houston has, and has had for some time now, terraces at the Rob. Well, terrace-like, anyways.

    Hopefully something similar is in the works for our new stadium.

    given that houston fans use that as an opportunity to the “waterfall” or whatever the hell it’s called on the “terraces”, I dont think they’re exactly the best example to use.

    and the german stadiums use convertable seating. The areas can be converted between seating an standing in a matter of a few hours. Any modern ground with a standing section has railings between rows to prevent people crashing into each other.

  8. Perhaps Mr. Payne is not familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act & Architectural Barriers Act.

    I’m sure that if and when they get around to hiring an architect and he asks about “standing areas”, he’ll find out why their not worth the trouble.

  9. See, the thing I’ve noticed about places where you can stand and watch games (not necessarily soccer) is, why in the world would you want to stand there? In Pittsburgh, there are standing areas at Steelers games, but they seem like miles away from the field. In baseball, people stand beyond the right field wall above the out-of-town scoreboard at Oriole Park, but you can’t see anything from there in terms of balls/strikes, etc.

    I don’t think we’re going to see terraces in the new United stadium. In fact, I’m just hoping the legislation passes first so they can even build the darn thing.

  10. ADA won’t be a problem–we’re talking 10% of the stands here, not something that makes it difficult for a disabled person to watch a DC United game.

    What will be is liability insurance. That’s why I personally expected never to see terraces on our shores (and if there’s to be any chance of success we’ll probably have to train ourselves not to call them that).

  11. As a precedent set in the UK in 1989 after the Hillsborough disaster, the UK government strengthened their rules for the top division requiring all the stadiums to be converted to all-seaters. Money was made available by the government, and a schedule was put in place for all top division clubs to renovate their stadiums. Rules were more forgiving for lesser division sides as their stadiums are smaller, but are required to renovate if moving up to the higher divisions. Bleacher seats with backs or individual seats fulfill the requirement. Crowd control and safety were the primary concern and motivation for this legislation. You may see fans standing the entire time at a Premier League match, but having the seats helps keep the crowd in control as a physical divider. Other parts of the world may not have these requirements in place, but simply put, a mature piece of legislation is in place in the UK.

    How that relates to the US and new stadiums may not be direct, but seeing as how this legislation is going on 20 years and the US has some of the most stringent building code requirements in the world, I can’t imagine a true terrace being a viable option as was posted earlier. Just some food for thought.

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