Premier League club Manchester City FC has opened a sensory room at the Etihad Stadium.
Situated in the North East corner of the stadium, the space has been specially designed for children with sensory processing issues that may otherwise discourage them and their families from attending a match.
The sensory room offers a full, unrestricted view of the pitch, creating a safe and controlled environment to watch the game, with optional, additional seating in the stadium bowl also available for those who want to spend time experiencing the match in the crowd.
This dedicated sensory space will be in use throughout the season both on matchdays and for City in the Community to deliver sessions to participants on non-matchdays.
During the first four home games of the 2019/20 season, the club invited families with sensory processing issues to trial the space to ensure it was ready to effectively handle their requirements.
The club’s Access Team liaised closely with these families leading up to, during and after the game they attended and with feedback overwhelmingly positive, the home game against Aston Villa on 26 October will mark the official opening of the sensory room to fans.
Families who are eligible will also be able to visit the room before attending a game to assess its suitability to their requirements.
Danny Wilson, operations director at Manchester City said:
After a period of successful trials we are delighted to open a sensory room at the Etihad Stadium. The positive feedback we received means we know that this is a space which will help those with sensory processing issues enjoy their experience without the sometimes-overwhelming sounds, sights and crowds of a usual matchday.
Opening this space is a big step for us to continue our long-standing mission of ensuring football is inclusive for all.
We hope that the offer of this quiet space within the stadium will encourage those who might not usually attend a game to do so, knowing that the Club will be with them every step of the way to ensure they can be a part of the matchday experience.