The Etihad Stadium’s Sensory Suite has been given a makeover for the new football season, courtesy of Manchester City’s kit partner, Puma.
The Sensory Suite, which first launched in October 2019, has been reimagined in the style of a Puma shoe box. Situated in the North East corner of the Etihad Stadium’s North Stand, next to the jumbo screen, the Suite plays a key role in supporting fans with sensory processing needs, that may otherwise have discouraged them and their families from attending a match.
Designed and managed by the English Premier League football club’s Access Team, in collaboration with City in the Community (CITC), the Sensory Suite comprises of a therapeutic multi-sensory space, a full, unrestricted view of the pitch with beanbags and other soft furnishings.
Supporters also have the option of additional seating in the stadium bowl on the private balcony for those who want to spend time experiencing the match in the crowd.
Commenting on the new makeover, Josele Angulo, senior manager for teams and federations activations at Puma, said: “One of the many things that attracted Puma to partnering with the club was the incredible work they do within the community and the outstanding service they provide to their supporters.
“The Manchester City Sensory Suite is a shining example of that fan support. We hope by wrapping it as a giant Puma shoe box, we are helping to make it even more inviting, by adding a bit of fun and humour for the young children on matchdays who might be slightly anxious.
“We look forward to working with the club to explore other ways we can support and enhance supporter experiences at home and around the world.”
As part of the recently installed wrap, the German sportswear and sports equipment manufacturer has also committed to funding the sensory packs the children receive who attend each game. The sensory packs include branded ear defenders, a mood thermometer, fidget toys, reusable rucksack, lanyard and football stress ball.
Although it is predominantly used for a younger audience, the Manchester City Sensory Suite is multi-purpose and can be used for adult fans with dementia, and other complex needs. It is utilised on non-matchdays as part of CITC’s year-round outreach programmes.