This article was published in the matchday programme for the Newcastle United home game against Tottenham Hotspur on 19th May, it was in association with the Level Playing Fields weeks of action campaign.
To mark The Level Playing Fields week of action 18th April to the 3rd of May 2015. I have been given the opportunity to share with you my match day experience in terms of accessibility at a recent home game against Arsenal as a disabled person and power chair user.
I am proud to serve as Vice-Chairman of Newcastle United Disabled Supporters Association which for over 15 years has been working hard to get a fair deal for disabled supporters.
I arrive by car and get dropped off opposite the ground there is a steep hill to negotiate in order to access the Leazes Stand. For me personally this is not a problem because of my power chair however if you use a manual chair it could prove problematic without help. In fairness to the club however because of the geographical location of the ground itself (on a hill) there is not much the club could do to change this.
At half time my brother assists me to the Accessible Toilet accessing it with my own Radar key. Stewards nearby always have one on hand for those who need a key. The light is on a motion sensor and there is grab rail. The size is adequate and meets my needs.
In terms of accessing food and refreshments I find the counters are too high as my chair is on the low side. Since last season the club and its catering staff have been using the venue menu App which is available free for Apple, Android and Blackberry devices. This allows fans to order food and refreshments and have them delivered to your seat. On this occasion I did not use this facility but I have used it successfully in the past.
I hope by sharing my experience of Match day at St. James’ it has been helpful and for more information on NUDSA see our website www.nudsa.org