Crawley Town

Crawley Town

Assessment of Accessible Facilities

Stadium

Checkatrade.com Stadium.

Address

Broadfield Stadium
Brighton Road
Crawley
RH11 9RX

Club / stadium contact for disabled supporters

Name

Chris Hough

Telephone no.

01293 4100000

Disabled Supporters Association

Contact Name

There is no DSA at present.

Telephone no.

E-mail address

Website address

 

 

Accessibility Information

For UK minimum access standards for new and existing stadia and for good practice guidance please click here.

 

Getting There & Parking

 

There are 12 accessible parking spaces are available to home supporters and away supporters; Places are reserved by contacting the club on a first come basis. Parking is located 15 yards away. Drop of facilities are also available.

Getting a Ticket

 

Information on purchasing a ticket please visit the Crawley Town website.

 

Ambulant disabled and wheelchair user tickets cannot be booked online. Please contact the Ticket Office on 01293 410000.

 

Spectator Viewing areas

 

Home supporters have 24 spaces for wheelchair users available to them, and these can be found at pitchside and in the stand. 3 spaces for wheelchair users can be found at pitchside and in the stand in the away section for away supporters.

 

NB: Under existing minimum standards for accessible stadia, the club should have 49 wheelchair spaces (42 home and up to 7 away). 75% of these should be elevated positions and the remaining 25% pitchside.

 

LPF's view is that many disabled supporters should be able to access general seating areas and only those with specific needs eg those who require extra legroom, or access via aisle seats or who need step free access etc should be allocated seats in the dedicated areas.

 

Based on the above, the club therefore only meets 55% of the guidance and has a shortfall of 22 wheelchair spaces. They should be working on a plan to rectify this deficit within a reasonable timeframe under the auspices of a full independent Access Audit.


 

Accessible amenities

 

Both home and away fans can use the 3 accessible toilets inside the stadium. The club shop is accessible for all fans and has a low level serving counter. Catering kiosks in both the home and away sections do have low level serving counters and so are fully accessible.

Accessible services & information

 

The ticket office does not have a hearing loop installed. Match commentaries are not available but facilities for assistance dogs are available on request. The concourses do have rest areas included.

 

Updated August 2013.

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Comments

J&J

Match: 26/12/13

Published: 12/1/2014

 

Our second visit in successive seasons as away fans to what is now called the Checkatrade.com Stadium.   So pleased to be able to report that this time we encountered none of the problems I detailed in my last review.   Well done Crawley.  

 

Ticket Purchasing

Unlike last year I was able to purchase my away wheelchair user ticket and carer ticket from my own Club and it was significantly cheaper than last season.   My Club only received these tickets 3 working days before the match (and not the 3 weeks when all the other Crawley tickets went on sale).  This meant in the run up to Christmas I was having to remember to keep phoning to see if I could yet buy my ticket.   

 

Access to the Ground

Easy access from Jct 11 of the M23.   The Stadium is just off the roundabout that has a huge red and white football on it!   The wheelchair accessible mini-bus that our Club provides as part of its official away travel, that we travel to all away matches in, was, we were informed, not expected but was allowed to occupy the last vacant disabled parking space in the relatively small stadium car park.  Entrance for all away fans is to turn left immediately through the main gates and continue to the end.  

 

Facilities in the Ground for Away Wheelchair Fans

Viewing Areas

This takes 4 wheelchair users and PAs/Carers. It is situated at the beginning of the long side of the pitch between the away standing area in the stand at right angles and the away fans’ seated away stand alongside in the other direction.   Pleased to report that the away wheelchair fans viewing area now has a roof on it and all the building dust that was on the seats last year has gone.  Good 3G signal.  Difficult to see play at the far end of the pitch from this area. 4 fixed let down carer seats against the back wall of this area give a particularly poor view of play.  My husband stood throughout the game at the front of the viewing area and was allowed to.     I did get an unrestricted view by positioning myself in the corner of the area nearest to the corner flag and using the riser facility on my powerchair but this rare facility should not be required.   We discovered that you also need sun visors.   Unexpectedly we basked in warm winter sunshine prior to the match but this meant we were unable to see anything of the game, without using improvised sun shades, until the sun dropped behind the opposite stand around 3.15 pm.  

Refreshments

We viewed them as the best we had encountered in over 40 grounds both for value and quality.   No lowered serving area but conveniently near to the away wheelchair user viewing area.   You pass them on the left as you enter the ground.   Large plastic tray of lovely hot non-greasy chips £2.   A hot dog, a chicken pie and a bottle of Tango was £6.   The hot dogs were made with “proper” sausages and browned onions, not the sad pale food you so often get.   Hot drinks £1.50.   Also, very conveniently, something I have previously only seen at the Paralympics, people walking round the ground throughout the match with a tank of hot water selling to you at your seat hot drinks for £1.50, they also sold confectionery.  

Accessible Toilets

As per my last review.   Remain clean.  Left-hand transfer.   Soap dispenser was empty and looked like it may have been for some time. 

Headset Commentaries for Visually Impaired Fans

As we could not find anything on Crawley’s web site to say otherwise, we presumed it was as last season with no commentary available, although we did not actually check with the Club.

 

Attitude of Club Officials

The only ones we encountered were at the gate as we entered who were friendly.   

 

After the Match

No problems.

 

Will We go Again?

Definitely.   One trip when we will not need to pack up food and drinks to take with us – just sun visors – even in winter! 

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Disappointed disabled customer

Match: Crawley v Swindon Town

Published: 7/2/2013

 

Booked ticket over 'phone - I realise now that I too may have been charged full price inadvertently like the poster above. 

 

Asked to reserve disabled parking space.  Told it was first come, first serve.  Fortunately I got the last spot on the day.  If that had gone though, they had no fall-back and I would most likely have had to turn around and go home because I would have been forced to park too far away from the ground.  I would have preferred they said no disabled parking was available because they were all booked and chosen not to go, rather than take the risk.  

 

I was told that to collect tickets from ticket office, which was located "close to the away section".  Wrong!  it was diagonally opposite on the far side of the ground; ie. couldn't be any further away.

 

Struggled up to entrance (I was early and there was no queue), I am in much pain and discomfort because of the distance between ticket office and entrance.  Asked if I could enter via the open exit gate immediately adjacent to the turnstile (which because my size and disability makes these extremely difficult to negotiate).  Sentry says nothing and just points to the turnstile.

 

Not only am I disabled and obviously so, but I am a grandfather.  The next officious steward gestures to search me.  I am made to feel like some 1970s, knife-carrying hooligan.  I questioned the lack of common-sense, to which I am officiously told that if he can't search me, he won't let me in.  Welcome to Crawley Town FC - I won't be back.

 

All the more sad, because I rarely go to away games but the previous week, I went to Leyton Orient.  The contrast could not have been more so.   A steward came to me in the queue and and offered to escort me and my helper to enter via the exit gate rather than the turnstiles, which was opened for us and they took care of our  tickets (both FREE by the way - very many thanks!!).  As I passed through to the stewards on the inside, they were ready to assist me to my seat at any stage. Ten out of Ten to Leyton Orient.

 

I am not expecting to be wined and dined.  All I ask is to be treated with respect and for stewards to exercise  common sense.  It really isn't too much to ask.

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J & J

Match: 23/10/12 - Crawley v MK Dons

Published: 23/10/2012

 

Visited as away fans.   Ground conveniently situated near to the motorway exist with parking at the stadium at the away end.   I did not see any nearby shops/eateries on this our first visit.   As a wheelchair user I was unable to purchase my ticket at my home club as able bodied away fans did.  When I phoned Crawley 3 weeks before the match I was told to collect my ticket from the ticket office and was not given the option of it being posted to me as is usual.   This meant I had to negotiate the car park in the dark in my chair to find the ticket office and queue up to be told my ticket was not there and I should go to reception.  Went to reception to be told my ticket was at the ticket office, back to the ticket office, when somebody then undertook to reprint my ticket, back to the away end to be told that my ticket was for the home end and was told to return to reception, where I was told I did have the correct ticket.   Sensing my frustration at this point a member of staff then accompanied me back to the away end, explained I had the correct ticket for the away end and finally I got in.   I was frustrated not least because I had not seen a loo for the previous 4 hours!   Thankfully the accessible loo at the away end was clearly very new, large and excellent apart from the turn into it was a bit tight and the hand dryer did not work.  (I reported this to the steward who on my second visit was pleased to tell me it was now working and it was.)   It was clear that Crawley had also recently spent money on making a new viewing area for away wheelchair users.   I therefore thought it was a great shame that as with the new acccessible toilet the turn into it is extremely tight, it is the only area in the whole ground that is not covered - (take waterproofs, thankfully I was there on a dry night) and is the only area in the whole ground with a restricted view, you cannot see the near side far corner.   The area is however close to the refreshment kiosk.  

 

To add insult to injury it transpired that I had been charged (incorrectly) more for my ticket than any other away fan but was not believed unless I submitted my bank statement as proof (I had no other proof as my card receipt had presumably been lost with my ticket).   It was only a couple of pounds but by now it seemed the principle of it.   I subsequently emailed the proof stating I as the customer did not like not being believed and asked that the difference be donated to their disability football team.   I have not received any reply to my email.    When we returned home we also discovered the carer seats must have been covered in building dust which had transferred itself to my husband's coat.  

 

As my husband has little sight when I phoned for the tickets I asked if they provided a headset commentary for visually impaired away fans and was told that a headset would be left with my tickets.   As well as dealing with the ticket debarcle on the night I was also informed that they did not do a headset commentary.   Which just confirmed my impression of disorganisation.   On the positive side the stewards we had in the ground were friendly and recognised and changed course accordingly without us needing to point it out (as is usual) that walking in front of my husband when he views the match through a 1.5 cm lens causes him to lose focus making it near impossible to follow the game.   

 

We would go to Crawley again but we would endeavour to have our tickets before the match, take a cloth to clean the carer seat if needed, ensure we each had a full set of waterproofs and be prepared for not seeing one corner of the pitch.    

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