BIAS is aware that there is some confusion among fans, particularly those used to standing on Ealing Road Terrace, who are looking to move to the West Stand at the new stadium. This guidance covers BIAS’ current understanding of the situation, and some advice on how best to navigate this to allow all fans to have as close as possible to the experience they want and expect once we move.
Standing – now and in the future
The situation around standing in the new stadium is a little complex.
At present, and until there is a change in the relevant legislation, league regulations and stadium ground regulations, the West Stand will be an area of normal, allocated seating, similar to the rest of the ground.
While it has been implied that there may be a more relaxed attitude to standing in this area, and we believe this to be the case, it has not been specifically stated by the club and is not guaranteed (in fact the club stated at the last ticket forum that stewards will be asking fans to sit down).
That said, it has been designated the natural ‘home’ of those currently standing on the Ealing Road Terrace, and it is the area that has been identified for conversion to standing IF the decision is taken to upgrade the current seating with the addition of a safety rail in the future (which we have not had confirmed by the club as a definite commitment).
In light of this, BIAS advise the following:
IF YOU WANT TO STAND for the majority or all of the match in the short term, you are most likely (but not guaranteed) to be allowed to do this without issues the further towards the back of your selected tier you are (i.e. the fewer people are ‘sat’ behind you).
The club have advised that if you are registered with West Stand Alliance you should state this at your ticket office appointment and you will be placed in the WSA allocated area. For more details on this contact WSA directly.
IF YOU WANT TO SIT to watch the match, in the short or the long term, buy your ticket in one of the other three stands. This reduces the likelihood of someone standing in front of you ‘unofficially’ in the short term, and reduces the risk of you needing to move to continue to sit if part or all of the stand is converted to standing at a later date.
BIAS would love to see a situation where we have the whole West Stand as standing accommodation – help us as we continue to work to make this happen by selecting your seat wisely now.
Despite pleas from fans, the club have decided that operationally and commercially it is not desirable for there to be any areas of unreserved/unallocated seating in the West Stand (or in the ground as a whole). This will likely be a big change for fans who are transferring from Ealing Road terrace.
The main impact of this is that you will likely not have a space to bring a non season ticket holding friend or family member unless you buy another season ticket (there are also potential issues with buying a spare ticket that is not designated to an individual). This will make bringing additional fans more in line with the experience that fans who normally sit at the moment.
Currently we understand the ticket office do their best to move fans on an ad hoc basis to facilitate this, but this is not guaranteed, and we have not had assurances that this will be the case at the new stadium.
It is also worth understanding that even if the West Stand was to convert to standing in the future, this would not be ‘free’ standing but standing in your allocated space – so choose that space wisely. Again a good way to do this is to use the ability to form friends and family groups before buying your tickets (see your email from the ticket office, or the ticketing website FAQs for details on how to do this).
Zones and concourse access
The West Stand is divided into zones, these are not as simple as upper and lower, and areas next to each other may not have access to the same concourse areas, and therefore the same bars, toilets etc. BIAS suggests that as well as creating friends and family groups when buying tickets, you also work with the staff at the ticket office to make sure that you are in the same zone as any other groups you would like to socialise with at half time to avoid being cut off, as there will not be the flexibility that there is at Griffin Park.
BIAS has campaigned over the last couple of years on a number of issues, including for a stronger commitment and clarity over the potential conversion to standing when the law and league regulations allow, and for some areas of unreserved seating to allow for better fan experience including the ability to easily bring and meet friends who may not have season tickets.
We will continue to advocate for fans around the move to the new stadium, so please let us know if you have any issues, and if you contact the club with any problems that aren’t easily solved by the ticket office staff – especially as others may be having similar issues.