Thank you for the patience shown throughout our journey to safely welcome supporters back to The SMiSA stadium. We have been cautiously increasing stadium attendance to keep players, fans and staff as safe as possible and moving forward we will welcome the highest number of fans since before the pandemic. For the next home match, we will be able to have close to capacity back in the stadium.
The countdown is on to 29th August when the Saints face St Johnstone. Together, the players and fans will experience our biggest home crowd in over a year. Our highest priority has always been and continues to be your safety over the past year, the club has gone to great lengths to ensure the stadium is as safe as possible for players, staff and fans and the priority of health and safety will remain in place.
The club will remain compliant with the latest COVID-19 guidance. Throughout the lockdown, a great effort has been made by the club, swiftly reacting to latest guidance and putting into practice the measures required to follow all laws and understandably, prioritise health and safety. We will continue to follow guidance as long as needed and ask all fans who are returning to the stadium to follow the set advice, including wearing masks where necessary. Let’s all do our bit to keep each other safe and reduce the spread.
Before reopening the stadium doors, essential maintenance checks required to be completed. Our new safety team, in post in recent months, encountered some long-standing issues that had not been addressed. For example, one of the key priorities was the need to restore the stadium’s back-up electrical generator, as this was found not to have been serviced for a considerable number of years. Other long-standing issues such as emergency lighting that had not been dealt with in the way it should have been.
The club has a duty of care to ensure the stadium is of the highest quality standard and we are now satisfied that with the hard work and progress over the last few weeks to make vital improvements we can safely get all our fans back. The SMiSA Stadium is now the best condition it has been since opening and we are excited to bring fans back in to watch our team.
Previously, the entire Main Stand was a restricted red zone for players while the St Mirren Training Ground underwent much-needed renovation. Strict guidance had to be followed to keep the team safe, healthy and able to play matches each week - the rules included limiting the number of people accessing the Main Stand. However, with time and the easing of restrictions, a resolution has been found and the red zone area has now been reduced, allowing for more of the stadium to be opened.
The return of thousands of fans is a huge step in the right direction. Everyone at the club cannot wait to have the fans back where they belong.
St Mirren Chief Executive, Tony Fitzpatrick shared: "Welcoming the larger crowd of fans back to the stadium will be spectacular. It will be an emotional scene to once again see those seats filled.
"Over the past few months, the club has had to work hard, adapt and put into motion new operations that comply with regulations. I was extremely disappointed with the long-standing issues that the new safety team recently encountered. Our new team have the highest possible standards for safety and will not compromise on this. The Board have backed our safety team with new and increased resources as the safety of our fans, staff and club reputation will never be compromised. I want to put on record my appreciation and respect to our new safety team who have more than risen to the challenge in last few months.
"I have been a custodian of this club for 40 years and can now safely say I am surrounded by people who have the same core values to safety as a club of our standing deserves. The fans have shown great loyalty to the club and extreme patience, and I sincerely thank you for this. All the effort has been worth it now we are moving forward.
"Our infrastructure is the best our club has had for years laying the platform for success on the park. Our manager’s summer recruitment has been excellent, and our first team squad is of the highest standard that I can recall for many years. I am sure we will have another successful season."