For the past two years there has been an examination into the feasibility of whether a Singing Section could be developed at Old Trafford. The idea of implementing a Singing Section was to promote increased competition between the home and away fans.
The Singing Section initiative was originally developed by fan groups with the club helping to facilitate research, communications and implementation.
It was agreed that two trials were to take place: one during the Champions League tie against Real Sociedad (23 October 2013), the other during the Barclays Premier League game against Fulham (9 February 2014). During these trials a specialist noise acoustic firm was employed to look into and measure the impact. The noise volumes at the Premier League game against Liverpool last season were also measured as part of a benchmarking exercise.
The trialled areas were selected after the initial sound testing showed that sound levels from certain areas of the stadium tended to be stronger than others.
The acoustic analysis concluded that during both trials there was a significant improvement in atmosphere and noise. The Fulham game (second trial) saw noise levels break the 100 dB level, which was comparable with the Liverpool game last season. The results also showed that the Singing Section was active almost continuously throughout the matches, increasing competition between the away stand and energising the rest of the stadium.
After each game, Season Ticket holders were surveyed about the impact of the Singing Section, with feedback also obtained through telephone calls and via email. Key stakeholders, including the police, were also asked for their thoughts on the trials.