Glass balustrades: a secure and safe option for modern football grounds
If you imagine most traditional football grounds, there’s a chance you’re picturing ageing concrete structures with sheet metal roofs and rusting metal barriers.
Certainly, there was a time, in the 1970s and 80s, when the suggestion of adding glass panels to a UK football ground would have been met with horror.
Much has changed, however: the matchday experience, especially in the last two decades has improved and spectator comfort has been prioritised. Allied to that has been an improvement in the range, availability and technology used in glass safety products.
As a result, the innovative use of glass is helping to transform the appearance of football grounds and improve the spectator experience.
So why are glass balustrades so useful and appropriate for modern football stadiums?
Hard wearing and safe
Safety remains the number one priority for any crowded venue – especially ones that attract potentially tens of thousands of spectators.
Fortunately, modern toughened glass is completely safe and subjected to plenty of building regulations of its own, which you can read more about here.
Glass doesn’t block the view
Again, older-style football grounds were riddled with blind-spots: columns, fences and posts that blocked the view for all but the tallest spectators.
Glass balustrades improve the appearance of football grounds when compared to traditional barriers and also improve visibility for spectators.
Easy to maintain
Running costs of a modern stadium can be high: short-term running costs include cleaning and repairing; long-term costs will need to take replacing and improving materials into account. Glass balustrades can help to reduce both of these running costs. They are easy to look after, simple and quick to clean and won’t require repainting. Nor will they rust or degrade so will not require replacing anywhere near as quickly as other materials.
Adding to the premium feel
If you happen to have not been to a football match for 30 years, you wouldn’t recognise the matchday experience in a modern football stadium. No longer do you get thousands of fans crammed into tiny, flimsy sheds that offer little to no protection from the elements.
The improvements have come at a price, with seasons tickets for top-flight clubs costing several hundred pounds. In exchange for such large outlays, spectators expect classier surroundings, which is where premium materials such as glass balustrades can come in.
Although they are especially popular for use in the ‘executive’ areas, where they add a premium appearance and feel to the surroundings, glass is being used more widely in other areas of grounds now too.