Football is the world’s largest spectator sport and is the most popular sport in the UK. Each week, millions of people head to their team’s football stadium, scan their tickets at the stadium’s turnstiles, take their seats and enjoy 90 minutes of cheering and singing as their favourite teams go head to head on the pitch.
Lack Of Football Stadium Safety
Unfortunately, football matches haven’t always been this safe and enjoyable. Just 30 years ago, English football stadiums were considered unsafe places to be, due to violence amongst football supporters and a lack of safety and security at the stadiums.
The lack of safety at football stadiums and the fear of being caught up in the often violent football hooliganism led to a large decrease in the number of supporters at football matches.
In the 1980’s, several football stadium disasters highlighted various faults in stadium safety and the management of spectators.
During the 1985 European Cup Final at the Heysel Stadium in Belgium, 39 Juventus fans died during a human crush against a retaining wall. Although it was not on British soil, the disaster involved English supporters and a number of Liverpool fans later received prison sentences for the tragic death of the Juventus fans.
That same year, Bradford City’s football stadium caught fire when a fan dropped a cigarette. The accidental fire engulfed a whole stand, tragically killing 56 people.
Then, in 1989, a large human crush occurred at the Hillsborough Stadium, killing 96 people. The incident was caused by a lack of police control which led to overcrowding in the stadium’s pens; it remains the worst disaster to have ever happened in British sporting history.
Safety Measures At Football Stadiums
The tragic football events of the 1980’s prompted the Government to set up an enquiry, which later became known as the Taylor Report. This infamous report made it clear that there was a lack of rules and regulations regarding safety and security at football stadiums and other sports grounds.
The Government’s Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds, which was originally developed in 1973, was revised using recommendations for change from the Taylor Report.
This guide to safety is now used by football stadiums across the UK and includes chapters on everything from stewarding and fire safety to stadium security and turnstiles.
The Importance Of Turnstiles At Football Stadiums
Turnstiles have been a key part of football stadiums since the 1890’s when WT Ellison and Co and WH Bailey Ltd developed a new form of turnstile.
Before the installation of Ellison’s turnstiles, gatemen would collect money from each spectator and hand it over to the club. These gatemen couldn’t keep track of how many spectators entered the grounds which often led to unsafe overcrowding as football supporters easily broke into the stadiums.
The new turnstiles would count every individual that passed through and take their money, one by one, before releasing a barrier to let them enter the football ground.
Not only did these turnstiles prevent fraud and increase revenue for the football clubs, but they also kept a record of how many people had entered the stadium.
The Rules and Regulations of Turnstiles
The revised version of the Government’s Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds recognised that stadiums require high volume, secure access control systems including automated barriers and turnstiles.
The guide included various regulations regarding turnstiles at football stadiums. For example, each football stadium must have a computerised turnstile counting system, which will record each football supporter as they enter the ground through the turnstiles.
Every turnstile has to be monitored from a stadium control room to ensure that the Safety Officer can see the exact number of spectators in each area of the ground.
Turnstiles should also have an alarm which will sound within the control room when an area of the stadium has reached almost reached its allowed capacity. CCTV cameras should also be positioned above turnstiles.
Get In Touch
Entrance control equipment such as a turnstile system is useful in a range of environments including Gyms, Airports, Hospitals and Banks. Turnstiles allow you to instantly control access into any facility and are a popular security measure within numerous industries.
UK Turnstiles is a division of Vistec Systems. Through UK Turnstiles we are proud to offer a wide range of turnstiles and entrance control solutions manufactured to the highest standard.
Explore our website to see our full range of products, visit our demonstration suite located at our Gatwick based head office or call our team on 01293 305666 to speak about how we can help.