Safety of Sports Grounds

Disastrous events at sports grounds such as Hillsborough in Sheffield, Valley Parade in Bradford and Ibrox led to the introduction of legislation to control the safety of sports grounds. The Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 brought about the designation of stadia with a capacity of 10,000 or more.  All designated stadia require to have a valid safety certificate and in addition require to obtain a special safety certificate in order to hold other public events, such as concerts, at the stadium. Within the City of Dundee, this applies to Dens Park, home of Dundee FC and Tannadice Park home of Dundee United FC.

It is Building Standards who apply this legislation and are responsible for the issue of  safety certificates and special safety certificates, which are necessary when the stadium/ stand is to be used for events other than those of a sporting nature.

Before issuing a Safety Certificate, we liaise very closely with the clubs involved and also with other agencies through our membership of the Tayside Sports Ground Safety Team. The Team comprises representatives from the 3 Tayside Local Authorities, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, St Andrew's Ambulance Association and Scottish Ambulance Service.

Safety is an issue that is taken very seriously by all concerned and is far from being a paper exercise. Ultimately the responsibility for spectator safety lies with the clubs, however the application, by the clubs, of the conditions attached to the safety certificate are monitored by the Safety Team.

The Service is always willing to offer advice to anyone involved in determining a safe capacity for a sports ground. Should you have any cause for concern about safety of spectators attending a sports ground, you should contact the management of the sports ground in the first instance.

Guidance on the safety of spectators at sports grounds can be found in the ‘Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds’, fifth edition, published by the Stationery Office.

Enquiries on whether a sports ground requires a safety certificate, or applications for a safety certificate should be addressed to: Building Standards, Floor 6 Dundee House, North Lindsay Street Dundee, DD1 1LS

For further information and advice, please email