Manchester United bans the use of iPads and tablets at Old Trafford

Saqib Shah
August 12, 2014

In a controversial move that further emphasises the suspicion towards tech in public places, Manchester United has become the first football club to ban iPads and tablets from their home ground of Old Trafford.

The new restrictions were relayed to fans via email ahead of Manchester United’s match against Valencia later tonight. The occasion marks Louis Van Gaal taking the reins on his first match as Manchester United’s manager.

In the email supporters are prohibited from bringing large electronic devices (bigger than 150mm x 100mm) inside the stadium. It also makes specific reference to “iPads” and “other tablet devices and laptops”.

It is though that the move was spurred by growing concerns over the illegal recording of matches by fans using their tablets. Supporters with electronic devices also tend to block other attendees by standing to record the action.

Restrictions have also been placed on large bags and long lens cameras, although small lens cameras (for example with a 3 inch zoom or less) are permitted.


The full list of banned items includes:  Alcohol, canned drinks, dark plastic bottles, drink cartons, drinking glasses, glass bottles, flasks, water in excess of 500ml, with the top removed, baby buggies or prams, camcorders, darts, fireworks, flares, knives, weapons, large bags or suitcases, umbrellas, flags or banners greater than 2m x 1m or of an offensive nature, poles or sticks, radios, smoke or gas canisters, telescopic or long lens cameras, tools.

Restrictions are being made on tech devices in a number of public places, most recently Google Glass was banned from cinemas.

Most of these bans focus on gadgets that contain cameras that can be used to illegally record and pirate copyrighted material.

In 2010, baseball team the New York Yankees banned iPads from their stadium but they reversed the decision two years later.


About the Author

Saqib Shah

Tech/gaming journalist for What Mobile magazine and website. Interests include film, digital media and foreign affairs.

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