11. Entry to Grounds

General Access

11.1 General access is the term used to describe the system whereby all patrons pay the same admission price and are allowed to move freely to most parts of ground, e.g., terrace, stands and pitch. Only a small area in the stands is reserved. This has been a very successful formula for rock concerts. Patrons feel comfortable when they are not confined to one area of the ground for a long period.

11.2 Care must be taken by the Event Controller to ensure that such access does not result in over-crowding in any part of the ground and that agreed capacity is not exceeded in a particular area such as the pitch. Contingency plans must be in place to prevent patrons attempting to enter already crowded covered accommodation in the event of inclement weather.

11.3 Guidance regarding spectators entering the ground is contained in Chapter 8 of the Code of Practice for Safety at Sports Grounds 1 and should be carefully read in conjunction with this Chapter.


11.4 Admission should be by ticket only and the sum of tickets sold and complimentary tickets should not exceed the safe holding capacity calculated in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 7 of this Code. A certified manifest of the tickets printed should be supplied to the Gardaí and Local Authority before the event. The Promoter should ensure that tickets are disposed of according to agreed procedures. In situations where there is a deviation from these procedures the Promoter should inform all concerned, including the Garda authorities.

11.5 The system of admission to the grounds should indicate readily to the Local Authority, Gardaí, the Event Controller and Event Safety Officer what the rate of occupancy is at any given time. It is of vital importance from the point of view of public safety that safe holding capacities should not be exceeded. When any sector reaches capacity, systems should be in place to prevent further entry into that area.

This situation can arise even if the principle of general access applies to most of the site and entry controls must be strictly applied.

11.6 The danger of forged tickets being used, and of the activities of ticket touts, resulting in serious over-crowding, is considered in Paragraphs 8.14 and 8.15 of the Code of Practice for Safety at Sports Grounds and the recommendations therein should be considered by the Promoter.

Crowd Control

11.7 Chapter 14 relating to “Crowd Management” sets out guidelines regarding the control of crowds entering the grounds at the start of the event. Contingency arrangements should be made to admit members of the public to the ground before the agreed opening time should the need arise.

11.8 Admission can be staggered by providing a range of supporting activities such as preliminary acts some hours before the main event. This will allow a longer period of entry and avoid congestion at entry points.


11.9 Arrangements should be made by the Promoter to accommodate patrons who wish to leave the venue for a short time, e.g., by the issue of wristlets, if considered necessary following consultation with the Gardaí.

11.10 Facilities should be provided to enable people, for whatever reason, to leave the site at any time. For this purpose, a number of reversible turnstiles or, preferably, pass doors/pass gates, so operated as to limit the opening to the passage to one person at a time, should be provided. Reversible turnstiles are not acceptable as a means of escape from a site and should not form any part of, or be installed into, the normal or emergency exit system of the site.


1. Code of Practice for Safety at Sports Grounds, Stationery Office, Dublin, 1996.