Guests who visit the room are given noise-cancelling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads
The Philadelphia Eagles have made a huge stride in making sure that all fans can enjoy home games.
Lincoln Financial Field became a certified sensory-inclusive stadium this week, the NFL team announced in a press release Wednesday, making the experience of going to a game more accessible to people with autism.
The move makes the Eagles one of just a few other franchises that have a sensory room at its home stadium.
The team collaborated with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for the room, which features noise-cancelling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads available for guests with sensory challenges, the team said.
The certification process, facilitated by the nonprofit group KultureCity, also included training from medical professional for Lincoln Financial Field staff and Eagles employees to help them “recognize guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation.”
The room welcomed its first guests on Sunday, as doors were opened to the team’s Training Camp practice. Photos shared by the team on Twitter show the Eagles’ mascot interacting with young fans sporting team jerseys in the brand-new room.
The event raised $506,000 to go towards autism research through the team’s Eagles Autism Challenge organization.
Philadelphia Eagles CEO Jeffrey Lurie said in the release that since Lincoln Financial Field opened it 2003, it has been a priority for the team to create a “safe, friendly and inclusive environment.”
“It is truly heartwarming to know that this state-of-the-art sensory room will now provide a sense of ease and comfort for families and loved ones who may be experiencing sensory challenges at Lincoln Financial Field,” he said.
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“In this moment, we are creating a major shift from autism awareness to action, and it is all thanks to our compassionate and caring fans, Eagles Autism Challenge supporters, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the autism community around the world,” Lurie added.
In 2018, the Buffalo Bills’ New Era Field became certified as a sensory-inclusive stadium through KultureCity, the same organization that the Eagles partnered with for their sensory room. The same year, the Miami Dolphins announced a sensory room at their Hard Rock Stadium.
Several teams whose stadiums don’t have sensory rooms offer sensory kits that include tools like noise-cancelling headphones for guests who may need them, including the New York Jets and Giants’ MetLife Stadium and the Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field.