Executive seats to be removed from Stretford End
Manchester United is to replace the executive seating area in the Stretford End with general admission season-tickets at the conclusion of the 2023/24 season, following constructive consultation with the club’s Fans’ Advisory Board.
The Stretford End has, for decades, been the matchday home of some of Manchester United’s most passionate supporters, while also being synonymous with many of the most iconic goals in the history of Old Trafford.
Following requests from fans, the club worked with its Fans’ Advisory Board to review the presence of executive seating within the Stretford End, in support of successful ongoing efforts to enhance the Old Trafford atmosphere. It has now been agreed that all the seating in the Stretford End will be returned to general admission for the start of the 2024/25 season.
The decision adds to a series of fan-centric steps taken by the club following consultation with fan representatives, including the installation of rail seating and the creation of a dedicated atmosphere section in the Stretford End.
Rick McGagh, head of fan engagement at Manchester United, said: “The Stretford End is one of the most famous stands in world football. It has been the backdrop to many of the most memorable moments in our history, and, when it’s at its loudest, you can feel the difference it makes to the players, and the connection the fans have with the team.
“Fans and fan groups including MUST and TRA have long campaigned for us to remove the executive seats from the heart of the Stretford End and to make them standard tickets and, therefore, more accessible to all fans.
“We have listened and agree that as many fans as possible should have the chance to be a Stretford Ender. We have worked with our Fans’ Advisory Board in recent months to make this happen and we are all looking forward to an even louder Stretford End from August 2024.”
Marcus Rashford’s 82nd-minute winner in the Manchester derby this month was the latest in a long list of unforgettable goals scored in front of a jubilant Stretford End.
Denis Law and Eric Cantona are among other United stars to have formed a special bond with the fans known as the Stretford Enders. Cantona has called the Stretford End “the heartbeat of Manchester United”, while Law, known as ‘The King of the Stretford End’, is celebrated by a bronze statue on display to fans at the entrance to the stand.
The Stretford End is named after the area of Trafford that the stand backs on to and has existed as part of Old Trafford since the stadium’s opening in 1910. For decades, it was a standing terrace before being redeveloped into all-seating in the early 1990s. The International Suite was opened with a small section of executive seating in the first tier, and a second tier was added in 2000.
Collette Roche, chief operating officer at Manchester United, said: “Structural work will take place over the coming year to return the Stretford End to general admission seating and create a new concourse. During this period, we will be consulting fans to understand how best to repurpose the space currently used by the International Suite.
“We very much value our executive club members who currently sit in the Stretford End and recognise the impact this change will have. The club is committed to working with those affected to find alternative seating where necessary ahead of the 2024/25 season.
“Plans for the long-term redevelopment of Old Trafford continue to progress, while we simultaneously take steps, such as this one, to improve the matchday experience in the near-term.
“We are grateful to our Fans’ Advisory Board for their backing of this initiative, and believe it provides another positive example of the benefits of dialogue with fans.”