The Philadelphia Eagles NFL American football team has partnered with non-profit organisation KultureCity to officially certify Lincoln Financial Field as a sensory-inclusive stadium.
The stadium will now feature a state-of-the-art sensory room as the Eagles seek to promote an accommodating and positive experience for fans and guests with sensory challenges.
The Eagles claim to have become the first NFL team to open such a facility.
The room will be presented by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), a founding beneficiary partner of the Eagles Autism Challenge. The room will form part of a broader collaboration between the Eagles and CHOP to benefit local families.
The official sensory-inclusive certification will result in Eagles employees and Lincoln Financial Field staff being given training on how to recognise guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation.
Guests who have sensory challenges will now benefit from sensory bags that will be equipped with noise-cancelling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads.
The sensory room has been designed by medical professionals to ensure a quieter and more secure environment for fans. It officially opened on August 4 during the Eagles’ training camp practice, proceeds from which will be donated to Eagles Autism Challenge.
Jeffrey Lurie, chairman and chief executive of the Eagles, said: “With the opening of Lincoln Financial Field in 2003, we made it an organisational priority to create a one-of-a-kind experience for guests in a safe, friendly and inclusive environment.
“It is truly heartwarming to know that this state-of-the-art sensory room will now provide a sense of ease and comfort for families and loved ones who may be experiencing sensory challenges at Lincoln Financial Field. In this moment, we are creating a major shift from autism awareness to action, and it is all thanks to our compassionate and caring fans, Eagles Autism Challenge supporters, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the autism community around the world.”
The Eagles join a host of professional sports teams to have worked with KultureCity, whose partners also include the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians.