Examiner Column (08.12.2016): Is Block Seating the Answer?

Last week, one of our longest serving and most esteemed members pointed me in the direction of some rather wise words of advice from a programme dated March 4th, 1922.

“You will add to the comfort of all persons in the Stand if you will KEEP YOUR SEATS, instead of bobbing up and down”, a clearly irritated club official warned the gathered Town and Milwall fans. “If all of you KEEP SEATED all can see the GAME IN COMFORT.”

Proof, if ever you needed it, that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Indeed, over the past few months or so, HTSA have dedicated a surprising amount of column inches to the issue of standing and sitting at football matches. Most have been in support of the FSF’s Safe Standing Campaign, but there’s another, equally important side to the coin, and that’s the ability of supporters to sit in their assigned seat at away games.

Predictably, this is one of those things in life that falls into the category ‘easier said than done’. Several people have told us that they’ve lost count of the number of games where their view has been blocked by groups of standing supporters, while others have turned up on match-days only to find their seat occupied by someone else.   

This state of affairs is often compounded by an inconsiderate attitude from fellow supporters, as well as poor stewarding. For the elderly and those with conditions that prevent prolonged standing, this can be incredibly frustrating and dispiriting, and I know of at least two cases where it’s caused long-time Terriers to avoid away fixtures altogether.

Thankfully, the solution is obvious, straightforward, and should please just about everyone.

All clubs have to do is allocate block seating, with an unreserved section at the back for those who want to stand (marked ‘S’ for singing, of course), and a reserved section in front for those who want to sit. Barring some unforeseen bureaucratic obstacle, it shouldn’t be too hard to extend the block scheme to those who pay on the day.

Countless clubs across Europe operate a similar system, as have Town in the past, so we know it works. That’s why HTSA will be pushing for its adoption at the next ATT meeting.

In related news, we’ll be running a coach to Burton on Tuesday, 13th December. Town’s allocation consists of 1,350 old fashioned terrace tickets and 340 seated tickets, with priority for the latter going to families and seniors. Hopefully this will pre-empt some of the problems mentioned above!

Members can reserve a seat for just £13.50. The coach will be departing from outside the Fantastic Media Stand at 4:30 pm sharp. 

You can book by ringing our Travel Line on 07905 580784 or emailing Robert Pepper (repepper.rep@gmail.com).

Since this is our first trip to Brewers country, we expect demand for places to be high, so make sure you get yours early!