Anger at ban on skateboards at Arsenal Stadium
PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 October 2015
A mother has hit out at Arsenal Football Club after skateboarders were stopped from using steps with personalised memorial plaques at Emirates Stadium.
The engraved plaques are made of granite, but staff claim that skaters “are likely to cause damage and potential upset to the owners”.
Priced between £50 and £999, the flat stones on the North Bank terrace are described on the Arsenal website as “a perfect gift for your Arsenal-supporting friends and family or a treat for yourself” to “celebrate your love for the club, births, birthdays, marriages”.
Kristina Christie, who has lived in Islington for 15 years, says her son, 14, used to skateboard regularly on the steps with friends, but they have been repeatedly told to move on by security staff.
Ms Christie, whose family are all Arsenal fans, has complained to the stadium management and is now working with them to find a solution.
“Although [the steps] are private property, it’s a public access area,” she says. “If they are accepting money from the general public to put these stones there, then they should protect them.
“You can’t stop people from walking or skating there. What if I went over the stones with a buggy? Even without skateboards, they’re going to get damaged.”
The plaques, she argues, are not memorials as they are not on consecrated ground.
“The boys have been skating on these ledges because they’re perfect for skateboards,” she adds. “At least they are out there getting exercise – not sitting inside with their Xboxes.”
A spokesman for Arsenal said the club has been “disappointed” by the skateboarders’ attitude. “These plaques belong to supporters and have a special meaning for many, who have them as an opportunity to remember loved ones who have passed away.
“We have now installed anti-skating devices and signage to prevent damage and further incidents. Our security staff have also been asked to make it clear that skateboarding is not permitted over the stones.”
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