GL events UK’s newly-launched product, the Raptor, is a cost-effective safe standing seat frame with integrated continuous guardrail, designed to allow safe standing as well as comfortable seating for spectators.
Originally developed to complement GL events UK’s range of stadium seats, the Raptor will appeal to a wide range of clubs because it can be retrofitted, with minimal cost, commitment or disruption, to any existing stadium seating product, quickly and cost-effectively transforming all-seater stands or sections into safe standing areas.
The stadium construction and seating specialist’s latest offering was developed in partnership with its long-term stadium seating partner, KH Seating, with input from GL events’ clients throughout the world of football, as well as fan groups that have called for designated safe standing areas at football clubs.
The Raptor allows stadium managers to incorporate safe standing into their existing permanent, semi-permanent and temporary grandstands. It is custom-made according to terrace or riser mount, with variable seat-width and rail height, offering a variety of custom-retrofitting and refurbishment options. The product also allows for colour-matching, making this innovative launch the most versatile and cost-effective rail seating solution on the market.
The Raptor features an all-steel, galvanised rear guardrail that creates a robust personal safety barrier between rows of standing spectators and is integrated into every tip-up seat. This horizontal rail provides a personal safety barrier for fans, allowing them to stand in a safe environment, with the option to lean against the rail of the row in front, while offering protection from crowd surges and other potentially dangerous behaviour.
Its design meets and supports capacity regulations, complying with SGSA Green Guide specifications for spectator accommodation – section 12. Tested by the Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA), it exceeds the minimum imposed load of 2.0 kN/m length.
“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,” commented Chris Mansell, GL events UK Director and General Manager, Seating and Stadia. “Stadium operations teams as well as 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 look to new, safer measures to deliver what much of football’s live audience desires.
“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,” continued Chris. “The Raptor could be the design solution that everyone is looking for.”
GL events’ many satisfied customers within the Football League include Boreham Wood, Blackpool, Watford, Exeter City, Barnet and Plymouth Argyle.