Operators of the newly-opened Optus Stadium in Perth, Australia have opted not to introduce a roof climb attraction due to difficulties surrounding disabled access with such a feature.
As The West Australian newspaper notes, a similar attraction is offered at the Adelaide Oval and it had been suggested that a roof climb would be an attractive use of Optus Stadium on days when it is not hosting sport or music events.
However, due to operators being unable to guarantee that the climb would be usable for people of all abilities, the project will not progress any further.
An Optus Stadium spokeswoman told The West Australian: “This idea did not proceed to a firm proposal as preliminary advice indicated it would be a difficult option to establish if the stadium was to maintain its commitment to ensuring the stadium catered for everyone, regardless of age, experience or ability.
“While the design of Optus Stadium does not currently include a fully accessible roof walk, the roof structure does contain a series of gantries, walkways and access points for maintenance purposes, which could be adapted into a rooftop walk in the future.
“Any future feasibility study would need to include consideration of access for people with mobility issues.”
The decision has led to mixed responses. Samantha Jenkinson, executive director for the People with Disabilities WA organisation, welcomed the news. “We are basically saying if you are going to have an attraction which is a public attraction on a public venue then it should be available to anybody,” she said.
However, Tourism Council executive director Evan Hall feels the project is worth revisiting, even if it means that some people will miss out. “Some attractions, by their very nature, are not suitable for everyone but this doesn’t mean they should be prevented from going ahead,” he said.
The Adelaide Oval’s roof climb is not made available to people who find it difficult to climb unassisted. The Oval’s offering gives fans the chance to watch AFL Aussie rules matches from 50m above the ground.
The 60,000-seat Optus Stadium opened last month.
Image: Samuel Wiki