Are The World’s Biggest & Newest Stadiums Accessible

Ever since the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, buildings have become more accessible. Sports venues are no different, and in today's age, more attention than ever goes into accommodating fans with disabilities. According to the WHO, around 15% of the world's population lives with a disability. That number continues to grow with an aging population and a surge in chronic health conditions. As such, new sports stadiums must design their venues as accessible as possible.

SoFi Stadium in California and Allegiant Stadium in Nevada are the two newest ones in the US. They both opened for the 2020 season, and they each have robust accessibility features. AFC Wimbledon Stadium in the UK is also relatively new and caters to the disabled in many ways. Read on to discover how accessible these new stadiums are for disabled sports fans.

SoFi Stadium in California

On September 8, 2020 , SoFi Stadium in California opened its doors for the first time. The complex cost around $6 billion to construct and can hold up to 70,000 people. As far as accessibility, they put a lot of thought into the design. There's ADA and companion seating in sections 100, 200, 300, and 400. There are special seating arrangements for guests who cannot climb stairs or walk long distances. If guests experience any troubles during their visit, they can text the on-site assistance number. Shortly after, a Stadium Team Member will show up and assist the guest with their issue.

There are ADA parking stalls in the parking garage that operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. Patrons will need an official ADA placard or sticker to use these spaces. There are four service elevators designed for guests that have limited mobility. Beyond that, guests with limited mobility get top priority for access to all elevators. Lastly, there are EMTs on-site that can respond to medical emergencies. If guests have trouble wayfinding or renting an assistive device, they can visit a Guest Services Center. They're located throughout the concourses in the stadium.

Allegiant Stadium in Nevada

Allegiant Stadium opened its doors a few months before SoFi on July 31, 2020. The home of the Las Vegas Raiders, the stadium cost $1.9 billion to construct and seats 65,000. They also paid close attention to accessibility, as they have many accommodating features for disabled guests. They made sure to include ADA seating in every seating section. Patrons requiring wheelchair seating can purchase up to 3 seats in the same row for extra space.

The staff will relocate disabled fans to ADA seating if the ticket is in a fixed seating area. Relocating seats operates on a first-come-first-serve basis, so it's wise to reserve ADA seats. Also, each gate at Allegiant Stadium is ADA accessible. One late at each entrance will stay reserved for guests with disabilities.

Allegiant Stadium can accommodate guests with any type of disability, including cerebral palsy. According to CPFN, nearly two-thirds of people living with CP are children. At Allegiant Stadium, these guests can rent electric scooters if they need them to get around. They also offer ADA-family-friendly restrooms and auxiliary aids and services.

AFC Wimbledon Stadium

The AFC Wimbledon Stadium in the UK opened on November 3, 2020. Instead of the ADA, the UK has the Equality Act of 2010 to protect disabled citizens from discrimination. In line with this bill, AFC Wimbledon has incorporated accessibility features. They have audio descriptions of the game available for blind and partially sighted patrons. There's limited mobility and wheelchair seating, and they allow assistance dogs. Lastly, they have accessible parking spots that operate on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Ambulant seating is for fans with limited mobility that need extra leg room/armrests. These seats require little walking/stair climbing to reach, so they're ideal for those that have trouble covering long distances. Out of all 3 home stands, there are 104 ambulant seats. There are also 92 wheelchair seats and 92 companion seats available. AFC Wimbledon also offers personal assistant tickets at a discounted price. For those assisting the disabled, they can attend alongside them without having to pay too much.

The newer stadiums being built in today's age are considering accessibility now more than ever. That's excellent news, as there's no shortage of sports fans among the disabled. With stadiums like SoFi, Allegiant, and AFC Wimbledon, disabled fans can watch their favorite teams in total comfort. ADA-friendly parking, seating, and assistance are available at all these stadiums.

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