The main legislation governing spectator safety at sports grounds in NI is The Safety of Sports Grounds (NI) Order 2006

The Safety of Sports Grounds Order requires that operators of designated venues and smaller venues with stands with a capacity in excess of 500 obtain a safety certificate from the respective district council. The Department for Communities (DFC) may designate a venue by regulations if it considers that it has a capacity in excess of 5,000. A statutory regulation (i.e. The Safety of Sports Grounds (Designation) (No 2) Order (NI) 2009) designating 30 sports grounds in Northern Ireland became operative on 31 December 2009. Download the current list of designated venues (PDF 27KB).

A safety certificate states the safe capacity of the venue / parts of the venue and contains terms and conditions to secure the reasonable safety of spectators. The safe capacity(s) and the terms and conditions is based on the contents on Guidance in the Red Guide and recently published 6th edition of the Greem Guide. The safe capacity(s) relate to the layout and condition of the structures of the venue – the ‘P’ factor, and the effectiveness of the safety management arrangements – the ‘S’ factor.