A study into accessibility at Premier League stadiums has highlighted Liverpool’s commitment to providing a positive experience for every fan at Anfield.
Handicare, in partnership with Age Co, recently conducted extensive research into the accessibility of Premier League stadiums to determine which clubs provide the best facilities.
They looked at how accessible the stadiums are for disabled supporters and fans who may need to use stair lifts or walking aids.
The study assessed a wide range of elements, including accessible ticket counters, toilets, lifts, entrances, parking and carer tickets.
Wheelchair-accessible viewing areas, assistive hearing systems, audio descriptive commentary and sensory suites were among the other areas included in the study.
Bournemouth were found to have the most accessible stadium in the Premier League, with their ground boasting more wheelchair seats than any other club.
Liverpool finished second in the rankings, with Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea and Manchester City rounding off the top five.
Anfield ranked ‘yes’ for all the accessibility factors in the study but was outranked by Bournemouth due to the percentage disparity in the wheelchair seats per capacity category.
The Vitality Stadium has 290 wheelchair seats, which equates to 2.565 per cent of the overall capacity of 11,307 seats.
By contrast, Liverpool’s Anfield stadium has a capacity of 53,394 seats, but only 261 (0.489%) are wheelchair seats.
However, this tally was the third-highest in the Premier League, with only Bournemouth and West Ham United (263) ahead of Liverpool in the standings.
The Merseyside club offers a dedicated telephone line (0151 264 2500) for disabled supporters for any questions or assistance they may need.
There is also a dedicated low-level window for supporters at the ticket office for any enquiries, which is manned during the same hours as the main ticket office.
The club provides two accessible drop-off areas for disabled supporters on matchday, while accessible car parking is available in the Family Car Park.
Supporters who use an assistance dog are welcome to take the animal to Anfield on matchdays, provided they book with the club in advance.
There are plenty of accessible toilets around the stadium, and there are two Changing Places facilities available in the Kop and Main Stand.
One of the most innovative accessibility features at Anfield is the sensory room, which is located in the Sir Kenny Dalglish Stand and boasts a vast array of specialist equipment.
The room has been created to enable fans with sensory needs to experience football matches in a comfortable and controlled environment.
It opens two hours before kick-off, offers unrestricted views of the pitch behind soundproof glass and comes with an allocated parking space.
Liverpool’s commitment to accessibility puts the club ahead of every other member of the so-called ‘Big Six’, with only Chelsea and Man City coming close in the final rankings.
Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur both feature in the top 10, while Manchester United finished down in 15th position.
Their ranking is impacted by the low percentage of wheelchair seats (251) per capacity (74,140), although it should be noted that this figure is the seventh highest in the Premier League.
Newly promoted Luton Town finished bottom of the rankings, with their Kenilworth Road stadium scoring poorly in several key categories.
However, the club is currently in the midst of upgrading their home ground, and the work will address many of these issues.
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