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Making the Game Accessible For All

Redefining Accessibility in Football Stadiums

Premier League football clubs have fallen under fire from the BBC. Earlier this week an article titled Premier League Clubs ‘failing disabled fans’ highlights some of the major annoyances held by disabled fans over high ticket prices and inadequate seating. Although this article hits upon some major concerns of physically disabled fans, it fails to acknowledge the needs/concerns of the wider disabled community. What most people don’t know is, less than 8% of disabled people use wheelchairs.

So what other kinds of disabilities are there?

Under the Equality Act of 2010, a person is disabled “if a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.”

According to statistics from MPH Group, currently 11 million disabled persons live in the U.K., or to put in another perspective 1 out of 5 inhabitants are affected by a disability.
Did you know?

  • People with disabilities have a combined spending power of £80 billion (ODI)
  • 1.87 million people are affected daily by visual impairments
  • 10 million people have some form of hearing impairment or deafness
  • 3.7 million of those between the ages of 16-64; 58,000 people with learning disabilities are supported by daily care services
  • 1 in 6 people have a reading level below an 11 year old (BBC)

These figures represent a large proportion of football fans with disabilities who may need, at a basic level, a little more information to help make informed decisions such as accessibility of transportation, facilities, available services and seating.

Premier League clubs’ such as Tottenham Hotspur are doing more to foster an inclusive experience for all fans, including away fan experience, and fans that are disabled or non-disabled. Tottenham Hotspurs F.C.
improved their grassroots participation with PhotoRoute, an inclusive, picture-based way-finding service that offers step-free access as well. Applications like PhotoRoute enable all civilians to navigate quickly with “sat nav and geo located images together with photos, arrows and written directions.” Tottenham is taking the initiative to implement this software onto their website as soon as this September.







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The Quality of the Away Fan’s Experience is Slipping

Transportation and Ticket Prices Increase without Major Improvements to Customer Service and Convenience

English Premier League football clubs are experiencing an all-time surge of popularity. Last season saw the highest average attendance in the premier league in fifty years. But despite the high attendance figures, many fans would like the football clubs to address certain recurring problems such as the rising cost of transportation and ticket prices and inadequate travel information for away fans. FC’s realise that the fan’s match day experience starts way before he first arrives at his seat.

Transport costs are high

The rising cost to travel to Premier League stadiums became a rising, recurring conflict for fans last season. The spiralling travel costs could leave fans ‘priced out of football’ according to the Campaign for Better Transportation (CfBT). More so, the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) stress a decreasing trend in the quality of away-game experience and travel for fans, who are a “driving force behind the noise and spectacle at many games.”

In a CfBT survey released last year, 23% of fans report spending more on travel costs to the stadiums compared to the ticket price itself. A majority of away fans, 57% choose to travel by train. Train travellers experience the highest costs, spending an average of £76 with an absurd £26 towards travel. Car drivers average £55 with £13 towards travel expense, and fret over “traffic jams and overpriced car parking” influencing their match day attitude. England’s football clubs have some of the most loyal fans in the world that are willing to travel far distances to support their teams. The clubs understand their responsibility is to accommodate their away fans and optimise their experience.

Lack of directions to the game

Home team clubs can do more to supply away fans with adequate travel information.The CfBT survey shows that 45% of fan use at least two different sources and 22% of fans admit to using three or more sources. A total of 84% of fans consult with at least one source before they travel to away games.

More than a quarter of fans will check the home team’s website for accurate information but few websites have walking directions and even those directions are of a rather poor quality.

Football club websites are in need of on-site direction services, including maps and visual aids for away fans. Away fans continuously insist upon receiving more helpful information and direction services from football clubs to ease their travel experiences to the game.


“We live in a new technologically innovative age where customers expect a certain boutique of service tools which they can access from their home computers and mobile devices. PhotoRoute gives customers updated travel information to their finger tips from start to finish of their route, promoting a positive experience for home and away fans regardless of ability or disability”.

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club redefine customer experience

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club commissioned PhotoRoute to improve fan experience regardless of ability or disability.

  • An interactive graphical representation of a match day experience
  • All external train and rail links
  • Routes from match day parking
  • Ticketing services
  • Meeting points
  • Internal routes to all disabled seating areas
  • Spurs Wishes
  • Stadium staff will be able to update maps in real-time of any traffic disruptions and emergencies
  • All maps having return journeys
  • 2 sets of embeddable maps for home and away fans, keeping fans separate and balance traffic flows

The new PhotoRoute mapping system is due to go live with Tottenham Hotspur FC.

The first stage was to replace native apps, created in haste for the London 2012 Paralympics, with a more inclusive mobile experience along with standard print and embeddable formats.

PhotoRoute is also used by Tottenham Hotspur Foundation to cultivate grassroots participation.

Contact us for more information.