GL events has launched the Raptor, a new seating product for stadia and major events, which offers all the safety features of traditional stadium seating but also has the option for spectators to safely stand as well.

The new offering has been developed in partnership with the company’s stadium seating partner, KH Seating, with input from its clients in the world of football, and fan groups who have requested standing options for spectators.

The Raptor is a rail seat that offers a ‘stand first’ solution, with seating as an option. An all-steel, galvanised rear guardrail creates a barrier between rows of standing spectators and is integrated into every tip-up seat. The design meets and supports capacity regulations, with each traditional ‘seating’ position allocating space for one standing fan. Spectators can then stand, with the option to lean against the rail of the row in front; a nod to the old-fashioned style of terracing.

GL events UK director and general manager for seating and stadia, Chris Mansell, said: “When developing products, our approach is very much like the airline announcement, ‘we’re here primarily for your safety, also for your comfort,’ and never more so than in the world of stadia and grandstands.

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“Stadium managers, event organisers, and stadia suppliers like GL events UK are incredibly sensitive to what has, at times, been a tragic past for standing audiences; but the time is right to move forward and look to new, safer measures to deliver what much of football’s live audience desires. The Raptor could be the design solution that everyone is looking for.

“The Raptor rail system has been developed using all the skills and experience of GL events’ in-house team of design and production specialists. This means it delivers our highest, award-winning standards of quality and safety. This is incredibly important to stadia operations teams, giving them the confidence to choose the Raptor system for their venues.

“Supporter groups have been calling for designated standing areas within stadiums for some time, with the aim of giving ticketholders a choice and clubs the opportunity to satisfy everybody. This growing trend is reflected in the latest Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds, known as the Green Guide, a best practice guide that outlines specifications for safe stadia operations.”

GL events’ Raptor product can be incorporated into temporary grandstands as well as retrofitted onto any existing stadium seating product, transforming all-seater stands or sections into safe standing areas.