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Manchester City ignite fans senses each weekend as the team storms the ground for their next Premier League match. The Etihad fills with unique booming sights and sounds; rhythmic chanting, the oddly potent smell of sweat mixed with beer, and the shocking sense of awe as the whole stadium jumps into life after De Bruyne scores a winning goal.
Some would call it sportingly poetic.
Although others would consider it overwhelming.
Especially younger fans who have autism or a sensory processing disorder, which can cause them to struggle through or miss out watching their favourite team live.
To rectify this, Manchester City announced a directive to try and make their match days accessible and enjoyable for all, which led them to get in touch with our Sensory Team.
And we were more than ready to create an amazing sensory space for their fans!
We spent our time carefully helping them plan and install a fully inclusive sensory space, perfect for any young City fan. From ensuring the inclusion of soundproof glass that would allow fans to enjoy the game without overstimulating their ears and football-themed beanbags and seating areas to enjoy a cosy and comfortable executive view of the pitch. Through to a bespoke Rhino Sensory Quiet Room filled with sensory treats, including a special Man City-themed interactive projector, blue and white soft padding, Bubble Tube and a fun fibre optic visual corner – enough sensory features to help any fan calm down and recalibrate their senses.
The finished sensory space perfectly complements the club’s dedication to creating an inclusive environment for all fans to enjoy the live game together.
The room celebrated its premiere match, as a few lucky fans were invited to come and watch City take on Aston Villa from the comfort of the new sensory space. They left with huge smiles on their faces and even nicer comments – “It’s a fabulous space, with everything that you need – it just makes the whole matchday experience really relaxing.”
Since then City’s sensory room has been fully booked out, a testament to the importance of offering inclusive spaces, especially in overstimulating environments.
Manchester City opens their sensory room on non-match days for local schools and the surrounding community to allow more people to explore their senses and celebrating sensory in the best way possible.
Supporting the club’s celebration of sensory, we have also been working hard to maintain the brilliance of their space. Providing technical support, service requests, and any training or guidance staff might need to use the room to its full potential – so that it still looks as great as it did when we first installed it.
Find out more about Manchester City’s sensory room packages here.
Are you a fan of another club that doesn’t have similar sensory provisions? Let us know, and we’d be happy to try and make something special happen.