Rams Ban Fags

Last updated : 23 October 2005 By The Rambler

Derby County is to introduce more no-smoking zones to Pride Park Stadium following feedback from supporters and representative groups.

The North, East and South concourses were made smoke-free areas at the start of the current season after a successful trial at the England U21 international held at Pride Park in February.

Following further consultation and dialogue this experiment will be extended to the upper and lower tiers of the Toyota West Stand, as well as the upper section of the Assa T&L Stand.

Rams operations director Paul Clouting said the move would be reviewed at the end of the current season with the views of fans taken into account.

"There has been consultation with the supporter groups, we had a fans' questionnaire two years ago that came back saying the majority wanted no-smoking areas, and there have been letters to the club since we have been experimenting," he explained.

"One of the main subjects that came up through feedback mechanisms was the smoky atmospheres in the concourses, and because of that we introduced it as an experiment in the North and East stands where we created areas outside the stadium and provided food outlets as well.

"We had very strong feedback from supporters in those areas who thought it was a good idea but people in the Toyota Stand have been asking "what about us?", so because of that we are now extending the experiment to the upper and lower tiers, and the Assa Stand.

"Come the end of the season we will again review the situation to check that supporters think it is the right thing to do."

The new measures, which will apply only on matchdays, will be introduced for the home game against Ipswich Town on Wednesday November 2.

Supporters will not be able to smoke in any of the concourses upon entering, and at half-time they will be able to make use of designated areas outside of the ground. Smoking in all seated areas has always been banned.

These specific sites will be cordoned off, and the club is aiming to have kiosks set up so that fans will be able to purchase refreshments.

Talks have been ongoing with users of the stadium's corporate suites, and these areas will be subject to restrictions in the near future.

"Consultation has also taken place with our corporate customers, which has been received in a very positive manner, and it is our intention to make those areas no-smoking as well," Mr Clouting added.

"We are introducing the new no-smoking zones to take into account the majority view but we accept that not everyone will be pleased with the decision.

"However, we hope that all supporters will embrace the principle and work with us."