Vancouver’s BC Place stadium has opened its first sensory room, while NFL franchise the Philadelphia Eagles has upgraded its offering at Lincoln Financial Field.
BC Place’s sensory room has been launched in partnership with non-profit organisation KultureCity, as part of a larger sensory inclusive program that fits into owner and operator PavCo’s recently released 2023-2026 Accessibility Plan. The room is located at section 251 and will be available at all events at BC Place moving forward.
The sensory room is outfitted with beanbags from Yogibo, visual light panels by Nanoleaf, activity panels, Sparkle Interactive Light, bubble walls, and a custom tactile artwork created by an autistic artist.
“Accessibility is a major focal point at BC Place right now, and something we’re looking to improve consistently over the coming years,” said Chris May, general manager at BC Place. “It’s integral that all guests feel welcome, included, and cared for when they visit the stadium, and the new BC Place Sensory Room is an important part of our accessibility journey.”
In preparation for the opening of the BC Place sensory room, staff were trained by leading medical professionals on how to recognise guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. This training will continue annually.
Sensory kits, equipped with noise cancelling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and weighted lap pads are also available to all guests at BC Place, and can be requested at guest services.
Prior to attending an event at BC Place, guests may download the free KultureCity App, where they can view what sensory features are available and where to access them. BC Place is currently working with KultureCity to develop a Social Story, which will provide a preview of what to expect while enjoying an event at BC Place.
Earlier this year, Rogers Centre became the first Canadian professional sports venue to introduce a sensory room, through a partnership between Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise the Toronto Blue Jays and KultureCity.
Eagles make enhancements
In addition to other updates made for the 20th anniversary of Lincoln Financial Field, the sensory room presented by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has received a complete update and refresh, in partnership with KultureCity.
Established in 2019, the state-of-the-art sensory room at Lincoln Financial Field remains a destination for individuals on the autism spectrum and those with sensory differences while attending an event at the stadium. It is located at the stadium’s west lower suite level.
“With the prevalence rate of autism increasing to one in 36 children, the need for sensory-friendly resources and support for individuals on the spectrum is at an all-time high,” said Ryan Hammond, executive director of the Eagles Autism Foundation.
“Championed by Eagles chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie, the sensory room presented by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, is a crucial element in Lincoln Financial Field’s certification as sensory-inclusive stadium. We are grateful for KultureCity’s help in refreshing the room and their continued support as we promote accessibility and inclusion at all our events.”