30% of disabled fans feel unable to attend certain sports or venues due to lack of accessibility, finds survey

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13th August 2021 07:48 - Sport, Leisure and Tourism

30% of disabled fans feel unable to attend certain sports or venues due to lack of accessibility: A survey of sports fans who have a disability has found that three in 10 feel unable to attend some sporting events or venues due to a lack of accessibility. It also found that a quarter (25%) said 'anxiety' or 'lack of confidence' was a barrier to them going to see sporting events live. 

The Level Playing Field Annual Fan Survey 2021 sought to understand more about the match day experience of fans with disabilities so the charity can offer better support and strive to ensure the experiences of disabled fans are 'equivalent to that of any other fan' at sporting venues. 

Other barriers to attending live sport included difficulty purchasing tickets (17%), feeling that stadiums are not inclusive for disable people (16%), inaccessible public transport (16%) and not being able to travel to the venue (16%) -- as well as 'attitudes of others' (15%), lack of information (11%) and stadium polices and rules (9%).

More than a quarter of fans (27%) said they do not feel like they face barriers when it comes to attending events.

How can matchday experiences be improved?

Fans were also asked about the measures which might benefit their matchday experience, with more than half citing 'accessible parking' (57% and the top choice selected).

In second was the option to bring a personal assistant (44%), followed by 'accessibility information' (37%), 'accessible entrances' (37%) and a contactable Disability Liaison Officer (DLO) available for their visit (32%). Other answers given included 'drop off and pick up points' (29%), accessible 'away' transport (23%) and stadium familiarisation visits (18%) as well as extra communication support (6%).

Thirteen percent of respondents answered ' none of the above'.

Looking at the services and facilities at stadiums 46% of fans said they would benefit from accessible toilets (46%), while two-fifths (40%) said they would welcome easy access seating. Additional legroom (38%), accessibility stewards (32%), priority use of lifts (28%) and disability identifiers (26%) were also cited, in addition to having a seat near to toilets or food stations (25%), a wheelchair user space (25%) and easy access toilet cubicles (25%).



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