An event is described as standing room only when it is so well-attended that all of the chairs in the venue are occupied, leaving only flat spaces of pavement or flooring for other attendees to stand, at least those spaces not restricted by occupancy by fire codes for ingress/egress of crowds. Some venues issue standing-room-only (or SRO) tickets for a reduced cost since it can become very uncomfortable to stand through the course of an event. However, some fans actually prefer standing-room-only tickets as the crowds that gather can be more active than people who are sitting down for much of the event.
For example, standing-room only areas are very common at football matches around the globe and tickets sold as standing area tickets are sometimes the most popular; i.e., they are not sold merely when all seating tickets have been sold out. However, the periodic occurrence of tragedies related to standing room only areas at football matches such as at Hillsborough and Guatemala City have led to calls to eliminate such arrangements. In England, standing room, once a staple of most football stadiums there, has been practically eliminated at the highest level; all of the major stadiums have been refurbished as all-seaters. By contrast, standing room tickets are rare at major sports stadiums in the United States and Canada, with only the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium and the Washington Redskins FedEx Field having such permanent arrangements, though they are usually marketed as part of a 'party deck' where the price of a ticket may come with food and drink along with obstructed picnic table-style seating, and with other amenities to encourage fans to purchase those tickets. The Green Bay Packers have also tested out the standing room concept in 2014 in a select section after the completion of renovations at Lambeau Field.
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- Thomsen, Ian. "Vantage Point : Tragedy in Guatemala: FIFA Must Face Up to Its Duties" International Herald Tribune
- DeLong, Katie (10 November 2014). "“It was perfect!” Fans loving standing-room-only ticket option for Green Bay Packers games". WITI, Milwaukee. Retrieved 23 November 2014.