A question about stadium reconstruction in the wake of the Ibrox Disaster.

Cardee

Well-Known Member
Obviously thoughts at the time (and since) were for the families of those we lost, afterwards Willie Waddell embarked on the crusade of ensuring it should NEVER happen again.

Given that crowds of the time would regularly hit upwards of 70,000, what was the reaction amongst the support at the time to a stadium that could effectively stop almost half those that attended every 2nd week from attending?

I wasn't born until 1975 and only have very vague recollections of the "new" stands opening.
 

Sandbear

Well-Known Member
The crowds for run of the mill games was around 20,000- 25,000 by the mid 70’s. Early 70’s slightly higher , it was eerie with that huge bowl of a ground and the normal crowds. I don’t remember anyone being bothered by the loss of terracing.
Just looked Rangers average attendances in the 70’s only got above 30,000 twice.
 

Jan Wyck

Well-Known Member
As Stonewell says 70,000 or in that region was more a rarity than regular.

People then, were starting to be more discerning with their leisure pound and time, and the spartan facilities were no longer acceptable to many. Particularly the middle and lower middle class, where things like Golf Clubs were starting to shed there elitist no-go areas to people.

The Centenary Stand, which in truth, was just a few blue painted planks fixed to concrete blocks was never popular. Almost all fans took a lot of pride in Waddell's vision of a stadia modelled on Borussia Dortmund's home from what I remember. It was rather unfortunate that when it was completed we went through a relatively fallow period and attendances reflected that.
 

LOL 133

Well-Known Member
In my opinion the big mistake was starting at the Copland Road end, possibly influenced by stairway 13 being there.

Too complicated to explain on here but in essence the traditional singing end being demolished led to our 'choir' being scattered throughout the stadium. As each new stand replaced the old the 'choir' ended up split between the EE and WE. When these were seated the atmosphere slowly evaporated.

Im sure others will disagree but I can assure you that's what happened. As Max Boyce used to say, "I know, 'cause I was there".
 

SSR

Well-Known Member
Large crowds were not really an issue at the time.
You could buy a season ticket where you could sit in any of the 3 new stands.
 

Clicker

Well-Known Member
Most games you could walk up and pay in.
There was still a big demand for Juventus, PSV and Cologne in the European Cup.
Trying to think what happened when we played the tarriers during reconstruction?
 

Nacho Novo

Well-Known Member
It is a fair question @Cardee. I'm only a youngster and have only ever known Ibrox as it is in its present form. But in the years beyond the millenium when I started going to games, you could argue about why Ibrox is so small in capacity when you consider season ticket sales are through the roof, over 15,000 on the waiting list is it, no one being able to get tickets for games, even by putting the Celtic fans in the away end and we reclaim the Broomloan Stand and for European nights, 51,000 is no where near big enough for demand. Especially in the present day with social media and how well Rangers are doing under Steven Gerrard draws in a good number of tourists to the games as well, probably something that wasn't taken into account back then. Glasgow is a very multicultural city in the present day, a lot of students and tourists come and their highlight of their trip to Scotland is to watch Rangers play.

What do we recon the current capacity should be, around 75,000?
 

Warren Hill

Well-Known Member
There was great excitement when the Copland Road was first to be completed and opened. What a sight it was and it was and months before i finally got to get in. Im sure the first game was Lillestrom in a European tie.
Can't remember if the Copland alone was tickets for every game i just remember massive queue's outside it no matter who we played, for example teams like Morton.
Back in the day it was almost the equivalent of Spurs new stadium, at the time other football grounds really were that primitive in the UK.
 

VelvetOrange

Well-Known Member
I was mid teens in 77 when it was all revealed. I remember just being amazed that we would have one of leading stadiums in the world.
Having been brought up on the world cups of 70 and 74 , the great bowl stadiums seemed like a thing of the past ( except for Munich Olympic Stadium).
There was really no need for a track anymore.
Setting the crowd limit at 44,000 was always bizzare to me. Even if you didnt fill it reguallry you needed the capacity. Lots of big European teams play to half fill stadiums (although many were municipal stadiums).
I dont remember cash appearing to be a limiting factor and there wasnt much debate about 'the plan' . Of course there was no social media then and you had only one chance to address Rangers at the AGM if you were a shareholder.
 

trublu54

Member
I think it was to differentiate sections as to where your seat was allocated...might very well be wrong though.
Possibly, I think it was also used as a trick on the eye - if the seats are all the same colour (obviously blue in our case) and the ground is not full, it is more noticeable than if it's "multi-coloured" Might be a lot of pish, if so I'm blaming my old art teacher.
 

Ghost of Troubled Joe

Well-Known Member
Possibly, I think it was also used as a trick on the eye - if the seats are all the same colour (obviously blue in our case) and the ground is not full, it is more noticeable than if it's "multi-coloured" Might be a lot of pish, if so I'm blaming my old art teacher.
Maybe why St Johnstone copied the multi coloured pattern. :rolleyes:
Or wasn't it rumoured that they purchased those old seats ?
 

Clicker

Well-Known Member
I often wondered about the coloured seats and why they didn't just have them all the one colour and why brown?

The modernisation was a must.
I wonder if it was part of the overall safety measures which we understandably took very seriously in the new stands, it would make identification of various areas extremely simple in the event of an incident for example “Copland Front red section” is complete visual and leaves no dubiety about where to attend, without looking for specific passageway or gate numbers.
I always wondered as well if that was why we built three totally separate stands split into top and bottom and well spaced apart, to make crowd control as simple as possible.
I know we then “joined” the stands in later years and made all the seats blue, but in the years immediately after the disaster it was better to be a bit over cautious.
 

Rangerista

Well-Known Member
I think with hindsight cutting the capacity from the 80,000 against Bayern, to 45,000 was maybe too much. We could easily have filled a 60,000 stadium for the big domestic and European games.

But as I say, that's with hindsight. The feeling at the time was just one of excitement and pride when the stands started to go up.

Just on the question of capacity, it of course rankles that the other lot took advantage of their re-building of the Piggery, to make it larger than Ibrox. That, to coin a phrase, was them putting a "fiver down" and the cue for our failed "Custodian" to trump it with a tenner as he had promised, but which just proved him to be a braggadocio full of bluster and self promotion.
 

Blue 52

Active Member
Official Ticketer
Rangers were going through bad time on the park early 80's right up until Souness came. Most games were pay at the gate except the beggers and European games. You could buy a rover season ticket which let you in to any of the stands except the main. You just turned up and picked which stand you wanted to sit in.
 

BSPECIAL

Well-Known Member
Obviously thoughts at the time (and since) were for the families of those we lost, afterwards Willie Waddell embarked on the crusade of ensuring it should NEVER happen again.

Given that crowds of the time would regularly hit upwards of 70,000, what was the reaction amongst the support at the time to a stadium that could effectively stop almost half those that attended every 2nd week from attending?

I wasn't born until 1975 and only have very vague recollections of the "new" stands opening.
I can't recall any objections or negativity among our support about the reconstruction and improvement. Everyone I knew and went to the games were happy to have the best and safest stadium in Britain at the time. I love the set up of the old stadium where we had the fredom to watch from almost anywhere we wanted. I remember watching games form behind one goal then moving to the other end at half time hoping to see all our goals. Seeing the stands progressing week by week was great and always looked forward to being in the newest for the opening game. And I did.
 

mfgorm

Well-Known Member
In my opinion the big mistake was starting at the Copland Road end, possibly influenced by stairway 13 being there.

Too complicated to explain on here but in essence the traditional singing end being demolished led to our 'choir' being scattered throughout the stadium. As each new stand replaced the old the 'choir' ended up split between the EE and WE. When these were seated the atmosphere slowly evaporated.

Im sure others will disagree but I can assure you that's what happened. As Max Boyce used to say, "I know, 'cause I was there".
I had mates in the construction industry at the time Ibrox was being rebuilt. They said the contractor wanted to build it as you say and for the reasons there would be more cover available and there would be a bigger capacity. Rangers wanted it built in the order it was so the Manky mob wouldn't get the new stand when they played us.
 

mfgorm

Well-Known Member
There were no complaints I remember when the plans were made. When the Copland opened it was light years ahead of anything else in Scotland, probably the UK. It shows how good it was when it's still one of the best facilities after over 40 years.
 

Grigo Yossarian

Well-Known Member
In my opinion the big mistake was starting at the Copland Road end, possibly influenced by stairway 13 being there.

Too complicated to explain on here but in essence the traditional singing end being demolished led to our 'choir' being scattered throughout the stadium. As each new stand replaced the old the 'choir' ended up split between the EE and WE. When these were seated the atmosphere slowly evaporated.

Im sure others will disagree but I can assure you that's what happened. As Max Boyce used to say, "I know, 'cause I was there".

I don’t often disagree with you LOL, but I thought it was right that they started at the Copland Road end, and especially because of the disaster.

My recollection is that we were very happy at getting a top class stadium, based on the Dortmund model. A lot of that investment came from Rangers Pools, which was really really successful in those days.

Most importantly for me, I think the current stadium provides a significantly better atmosphere due to the tight enclosed design. In the olden days a lot of the noise created by the fans was lost as it was so open.
 
I played at Ibrox against Rangers in 78 in front of 10,000, during the early 80’s crowd were often around that level
My first trip up to Ibrox was 1984 or 85 for a 1-1 draw with Hearts. I think there was 15,000 at the game. Beers in the Stadium pub then pick your own seat in the Copland.
 

falkirkbear

Well-Known Member
I was born in 1975, my first memories of Ibrox are of being in the Copland with the Govan stand just being a metal frame that grew over the season, I still remember the guys in hard hats throwing the ball back over the fence, I didn't know the old Ibrox but my dad did, he always used to talk about how the new stands were based on Dortmund (I remember him going there in 1982 too).

I remember being able to pick your seat, and daft things like the wee packets of Kilx chewing gum they sold at the catering stands, I also remember the following seasons as I got older and we went into the enclosure, standing down the front where you could only see the players on the other touchline from the waist up, and waiting in the queue to get in when the shout would go out that it was full, the turnstile shutters would drop and we'd all run round to the Copland to pay the extra 50p to get in!!

Theres a pic in one of the old Playing for Rangers books of one of our players posed as if he's holding up the massive girder of the Govan, thats how I remember it being when I first went.
 

Grant K

Well-Known Member
In my opinion the big mistake was starting at the Copland Road end, possibly influenced by stairway 13 being there.

Too complicated to explain on here but in essence the traditional singing end being demolished led to our 'choir' being scattered throughout the stadium. As each new stand replaced the old the 'choir' ended up split between the EE and WE. When these were seated the atmosphere slowly evaporated.

Im sure others will disagree but I can assure you that's what happened. As Max Boyce used to say, "I know, 'cause I was there".

Might be my old memory playing tricks but most games the singing started in the Derry and this was probably effected by the construction of the Centenary Stand. As I remember old Ibrox stairway 13 accommodated fans from both the Derry and Copland Rd end.
 

SSR

Well-Known Member
I often wondered about the coloured seats and why they didn't just have them all the one colour and why brown?

The modernisation was a must.
I think it was nothing more than colour coded sections.
If I remember correctly the Centenary Stand ended up with colour coded benches.
 

Hillheadbear

Goooooooooaaaaaaaaaaallllllllll
Might be my old memory playing tricks but most games the singing started in the Derry and this was probably effected by the construction of the Centenary Stand. As I remember old Ibrox stairway 13 accommodated fans from both the Derry and Copland Rd end.

The singing always started in the Derry except for Rangers vs Celtic when the singing section was in, what is now, the Copland Road end.

In the old Ibrox you could gauge the size of the crowd by how full the Celtic end was. Pretty empty and you were looking at 20,000 to 25,000. Semi full, and it was 30,000 to 40,000. Looking pretty full, it was 50,000 to 60,000. Packed, it was 80,000.

There was also an exit under the Derry which led to a path down to the bottom of Stairway 13 where you exited the ground. That was where I exited from on that fateful day 50 years ago.
 

Wugs

Well-Known Member
Totally different era. In those days you didn't really need a season ticket. There was no problem getting a ticket for games.
I had been going to Ibrox since the late 60's , but after Souness arrived and the Copeland was made all season ticket , me and my mates decided we have to now.
The rest as they say is history.
 

Hillheadbear

Goooooooooaaaaaaaaaaallllllllll
Totally different era. In those days you didn't really need a season ticket. There was no problem getting a ticket for games.
I had been going to Ibrox since the late 60's , but after Souness arrived and the Copeland was made all season ticket , me and my mates decided we have to now.
The rest as they say is history.

Most games you could pay at the gate. You used to be able to buy tickets for Rangers vs Celtic in the strangest places. I remember a travel agent on Bath St. being an official ticket outlet for one game.

When we played Torino in the Cup Winners Cup (quarter final if I remember right), I remember rushing to the subway straight from school and getting in a huge queue at Ibrox to buy tickets and quickly joined by all my pals.
 

The DazzleGer

Well-Known Member
Crowds were dwindling across the board .
Fans were looking forward to a more compact stadium where they were closer to the pitch and where the Copland would be our answer to the Liverpool Kop.
No one at that time could foresee crowds would grow again to the numbers seen today .
 
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