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Eden Park champions accessibility and inclusivity by offering new innovative services

Mar 7, 2024

With the addition of two new sound sensitivity stations, a dedicated sensory room, Permobil comfort zones for wheelchair users, and becoming New Zealand’s only stadium that is an official member of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network, Eden Park is furthering its commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone who comes to the stadium.

Eden Park CEO Nick Sautner said, “Many people look forward to the opportunity to attend a sports game, concert, or community event at a packed stadium. Recognising that not everyone copes with the stadium environment—the crowds, noise, and excitement—we have provided facilities that accommodate people with sound sensitivities and sensory-related needs while also enhancing our existing dedicated wheelchair areas.

“These areas and services are all designed to ensure an entire family can attend an event and be engaged in the sports game, music or culture together.

Recognising that over-stimulation to noise, particularly in higher sound-intensive areas of stadiums such as front-of-stage, is a common trigger for sound-sensitive individuals, Eden Park has collaborated with long-term partner Kennards Hire to install two Sound Sensitivity Stations.

Nick Sautner added, “We’re delighted to be working with Kennards Hire to ensure people who are highly sensitive to sound can still attend and enjoy live events. This initiative was driven by a Kennards Hire staff member who, during the Ed Sheeran concert last year, had an unexpected experience with her young son who suffered from sound sensitivity.

The stations will be located throughout the stadium and dispense free earplugs to people who are sensitive to sound.

“We’re also proud to be the first New Zealand stadium that is a member of the global Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network,” said Mr Sautner. “Through this membership, we can ensure everyone, including people who might need a little extra help, has a seamless and enjoyable experience at Eden Park. The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is a key part of making that happen, and we’re committed to evolving our staff training so they can assist those who require assistance or care but may not show it.

“Accessibility and inclusivity are key priorities for us. We are committed to identifying opportunities and partnerships that allow us to continue enhancing our stadium to ensure it remains accessible to individuals of all abilities. Our aim is to be one of the world’s most innovative stadiums; making sure that every person who comes to Eden Park can fully participate and enjoy all aspects of their experience,” said Mr Sautner.