English Premier League football club Manchester City has been recognised for the accessible facilities and services at the Etihad Stadium with the Level Playing Field Centre of Excellence Award.
Level Playing Field is a registered charity campaigning for an inclusive match-day experience and equal access for all disabled sports fans in England and Wales, and has worked with football and other sports for 20 years.
The Etihad Stadium has become one of only five UK stadia to be recognised by Level Playing Field. The award acknowledges venues that demonstrate high access and inclusion standards for disabled supporters and visitors, both on match days and non-match days.
City’s accessibility initiatives include audio commentary, which provides a specific service for blind and partially-sighted supporters. Other features include changing places facilities with shower provision, winter packs with handwarmers and foil ponchos, and a shuttle service for those who require assistance from car parks to the stadium.
Level Playing Field chief executive Owain Davies said: “Manchester City are an excellent example of a club making continued improvements to its disabled supporters’ facilities and services. We are particularly impressed by the ‘can do’ culture throughout the club and based on the findings of the access audit and in recognition of the work that has been done and continues to be done, the LPF Board of Trustees are delighted to award the LPF Centre of Excellence.”
City has also introduced online ticketing for disabled supporters, along with face-to-face meetings with club staff through which fans can discuss individual access requirements and provide feedback on the club’s services.
The club also provides free sporting and social opportunities for disabled people across Greater Manchester through its City in the Community foundation.
Operations Director at Manchester City, Danny Wilson, added: “At Manchester City we’re committed to ensuring our facilities are accessible to all of our supporters, not just at the Etihad Stadium, but within the wider campus and Academy Stadium too, so we’re delighted to have received the Level Playing Field Centre of Excellence Award.
“We’ll continue to work hard to develop our accessibility provision in respect of both facilities and services to further enhance the experience of disabled supporters and visitors at the club.”
Image: Manchester City