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SBD Global/October 30, 2012/FacilitiesPrint All
Aston Villa FC has become the first Premier League club to publicly support a new campaign for trials of safe standing areas in top-flight and Championship stadiums. The campaign, launched by the Football Supporters' Federation, has received backing by Villa, as well as Championship club Peterborough United, to allow small-scale trials of safe standing areas. Aston Villa has also volunteered to host a trial at its ground, Villa Park. Aston Villa CEO Paul Faulkner said: "Whenever we have discussed the topic with our fans we've found almost unanimous support for such a trial, and the concept of giving fans the choice to decide to either sit or stand at a game." FSF Safe Standing Coordinator Peter Daykin said: "For two decades since the Taylor Report, the overwhelming majority of football supporters have favoured a choice of standing and sitting at football, and fans continue to stand throughout all levels of the game today, even in the Premier League and Championship where it is against ground regulations and facilities are designed for sitting" (Aston Villa).
Brasileiro club Vasco will "renovate and increase" the capacity of its São Januário stadium from 25,000 to 43,000, according to the AP. The Rio de Janeiro club has until Wednesday to present the redevelopment plans to the Rio Olympic Organizing Committee if it wants its arena to host the 2016 Olympic rugby sevens tournament, as originally planned. Construction on the stadium "is expected to start only after July '13," when the Maracanã will again be available to Rio teams. This will allow Vasco to play in the Maracanã until construction work at the São Januário is finished. Vasco CEO Luiz Gomes said, "We already wanted to remodel our stadium for some time now, and the Olympics give us a big opportunity to finally do this. We will have an arena ready for the rugby tournament in the 2016 Games, and after this the team will have a completely new stadium." The cost of the project was not revealed, but Gomes said that "Vasco will pay for 60% of the cost, with the rest being covered by investors and sponsors" (AP, 10/29).