Sheffield United

Sheffield United

Assessment of Accessible Facilities

Stadium

Bramall Lane

Address

 Bramall Lane
Sheffield
S2 4SU

Club / stadium contact for disabled supporters

Name

Mel Jackson

Telephone no.

0114 221 3117

E-mail address

Website address

Disabled Supporters Association

Contact Name

Janet Ireland

Telephone no.

0114 269 8000 / 07905371480

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 is a club car park with 21 accessible spaces for both home supporter’s available on an seasonal basis. A further 12 spaces are available for home supporters in the nearby St Mary’s Church, passes are sold on a seasonal basis. The Club will endeavour to provide spaces where possible for visiting supporters who require accessible parking. Drop of facilities are available.

 

National Rail have published links to the nearest stations to sporting venues including Sheffield United see here for more information.

 

Level Playing Field have not verified the information given and we suggest that you contact the station direct if you have any access requirements.

Getting a Ticket

 

For further information on purchasing a ticket please visit the Sheffield United website

 

Spectator Viewing areas

 

Home supporters have 85 spaces for wheelchair users available to them, and these can be found at pitchside. 10 spaces for wheelchair users can be found in at pitchside in the away section for away supporters.

 

There are 166 pairs of designated seats with extra legroom for supporters with ambulant disabilities and their PA's available in the home end. There are 10 designated seats for ambulant disabled supporters in the away end for away supporters.

 

NB: Under existing minimum standards for accessible stadia, the club should have 186 wheelchair spaces (158 home and up to 28 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 51% of the guidance and has a shortfall of 91 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 accessible toilets inside the stadium, Radar keys are needed to access some toliets. The club shop is accessible for all fans but does not have a low level serving counter. Catering kiosks in the home and away sections do not low level serving counters and so are not fully accessible.

Accessible services & information

 

The club does have a hearing loop. Match commentaries from the local hospital radio are available from any point in the stadium via headsets collected from reception or from stewards. Facilities for assistance dogs are available on request.  The concourses do not have rest areas included.

 

Updated October 2013.

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Comments

Lin

Match: Wolves

Published: 30/3/2014

 

Attended Wolves match with a group of ambulant disabled supporters with varying needs, including learning disabilities and limited mobility. As usual we contacted Sheffield prior to purchasing tickets in order to establish what seats would meet our needs specifically the need to avoid any steps. We were informed that no disabled parking was available but a suggested parking at a nearby car park. The car park charged £5 and was what appeared to be a piece of waste ground where cars were packed close together and the ground very uneven. We walked to the turn styles and explained our need for level access and were directed around the ground to an accessible gate. This involved a long walk and very steep slopes which were a challenge for the supporter with limited mobility. It later transpired that there was an accessible ramp in an entrance much closer to our car park and the city centre, which was a lot less steep than walking around the outside of the stadium. At the end of the game the stewards allowed us to walk across the front of the stand to use this ramp instead, which was much easier to access. When we arrived at our allocated seats they were situated behind the wheelchair seating and accessed by steps. On explaining my difficulties with steps we were relocated to front row seats, however these were only available because the club had not sold the full allocation of seats. The stewards were very friendly and helpful. One accessible toilet was easily accessed.

 

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J&J

Match: 31/08/13

Published: 6/9/2013

 

This was our third visit to Bramall Lane as away fans in successive seasons and this review should be read as an update to my previous one of March 2013.

 

Access to the Ground

No change from our last visit.  Again met and taken into the ground by the wonderful Clare. 10/10.  I did notice opposite the main entrance is a small convenience supermarket.

 

Facilities in the Ground for Away Wheelchair Fans

Viewing Areas

Again no change from 5 mths ago.   Good 3G signal.  We noted that as the away stand is filled from the opposite end to where the away wheelchair fans are, if there is a relatively small away crowd, you do feel quite isolated from them and are actually nearer to the home fans in the adjacent stand.    It would be so much better if they filled the stand from the same end as where the wheelchair fans are.   The score board is slightly behind you to your left.   Don’t be fooled by the clock on the score board, it counts the minutes down not up!

 

Refreshments:

The complimentary hot drink brought to you at half time is much, much appreciated.   Even more appreciated is the thoughtful way this is done.  Commandeering a spare ball boy’s seat to act as a table to put my drink on as it was realised that I was going to struggle to hold the drink and offering to put the milk in for me rather than leaving us to fight those little milk containers.   10/10

 

Accessible Toilet

Toilet was cleaner than in March (not gleaming but better!) however, there was a bit of a wiff, stale bin contents possibly? Hand wash, paper towels, working hand drier but I couldn’t find any hot water.  Right hand transfer.   A radar lock has been put on the door and the steward had the key. This made it a bit more fiddly to get through the door, particularly as when the door opens fully I didn’t have the strength to pull it closed but on each visit, Stewards came to help, so perhaps the benefits of the lock outweigh this disadvantage.

 

Headset Commentaries for blind and partially sighted Fans

System we had previously used worked again with the headset waiting with the steward on our arrival. My husband was a bit perturbed when almost the first statement from the commentators was “oh well there is no one in the studio this week, so we can be as biased as we like”! That said, it turned out their commentary was very fair throughout the match. I am going to email the Club with this feedback.

 

Attitude of Club Officials

Clare, the Supervisor, for the reasons we have already detailed is a real treasure.   Natalie, who was the steward allocated to the away wheelchair fans on this occasion was new to stewarding at football matches, it was only her second match.   If this is the standard of their recruitment, we have no worries, she was just lovely, a real natural, particularly with the hot drinks as I have described. 

 

The only negative we had was early in the first half when my visually impaired husband was finding it difficult to follow the game through his spy glass due to the number of club officials walking past.  He explained this to Natalie and that last time this had been sorted by officials been redirected round the back of us.   Understandably she said she would have to ask her Supervisor about this (not Clare).   I saw the supervisor shake his head at the request.  Given it was done 5 months ago not sure why it couldn’t be done again.   It isn’t a petty request; my husband only has a 1 cm diameter to follow the ball, every time he loses it (when someone walks in front of him) it takes him a significant time to find it again, just adding to how exhausting it is watching a game in this way.   Thankfully the rate of passing “traffic” did naturally reduce as the game continued.  

 

After the Match

Roads busy but no problems leaving.  Using an exit/entrance that is only for disabled fans does mean there is no crowd to negotiate!

 

Will We go Again?

Yes definitely.   Our visit to Bramall Lane is becoming a bit of an institution.  Our season wouldn’t feel quite right without it!

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J&J

Match: 09/03/13

Published: 23/3/2013

 

This was our second visit as away fans to Bramall Lane.   To get to the ground from the M1 you have to go through the centre of Sheffield which has proved congested for both an evening and Saturday afternoon kick off.   As we approached the roundabout closest to the ground the road had been closed for the match but when we explained that the wheelchair accessible mini-bus we were travelling in was part of our club’s official away travel we were allowed through the barriers.   The stadium appears to be in a residential area with no immediate facilities around it, although I did notice a small pub close by.

 

For the second time we then had the pleasure of meeting Clare, the most wonderful Sheffield United Steward.   She came onto our minibus and gave us all a very friendly welcome, this year remembering us from last season.   She stayed on our bus to direct us round to parking inside the stadium just by the gate for us to enter the ground, where she introduced us to the steward responsible for our area.  My husband is visually impaired and Clare is the first steward in over 40 grounds we have visited to offer to guide him and she knew how to do it correctly.

 

The wheelchair spaces for away visiting fans, as mentioned in previous reviews, are at pitch level in the right hand corner (nearest where we entered the ground) of the away stand.   If it is raining, as it was on our most recent visit, you get wet, so you need to take good waterproofs.   As there were only two of us in wheelchairs the area was plenty big enough for us (average size of such areas that we have come across).   My husband, who was with me, stood for the whole match which he was happy to do and allowed to do so.   Had he sat in the seating provided, as previous reviews mention, his view would have been obstructed by my chair!   We did experience a lot of club officials walking past us at the beginning of the match which did improve after my husband pointed this out to the steward as she got them to walk round the back of us.

 

Sheffied Utd.’s web site states that headset commentaries are available for visually impaired fans.   On both occasions my husband has rung up prior to the match to request one and our steward has had it ready to pass to him on arrival.   Understandably he could not recall the commentary he had last season but stated that this season’s was not the most informative he had ever had and it was extremely biased with no appreciation that not all the people listening were home fans.

 

The accessible toilet is located on the left as you enter the ground.   When I used the toilet prior to the match I discovered that it was the dirtiest toilet I had ever seen in around 40 grounds.   (I don’t remember it being so last season.)   It was clear that the toilet had not been cleaned since the last match as there was old dried faeces on the toilet seat and the hand basin looked as if it had not been cleaned this year.   I asked the steward if the toilet could be cleaned and was pleased to hear very shortly afterwards that this had happened.   I was therefore dismayed when I went at half time to find it still in the same dirty state.   I explained this to the steward.   I heard nothing more and did not venture for a third visit, so maybe the next reviewer would like to give an update on this.   Perhaps more seriously is that the other wheelchair user I travelled with had a very serious fall in the toilet which she attributed to a wet, slippery floor and lack of handrails in there, so do be careful.   On the door of the toilet is a large polite notice stating that the toilet is for the use of away disabled fans only.   I am not sure what led to this notice being put up as apart away disabled fans the only people with access to it are club officials, but my experience at half time was that the notice was being ignored.   Enough on toilets!

 

Moving on to more pleasant matters, as an earlier reviewer commented, prior to the match we were asked what complimentary hot drink we would like at half time.   As an earlier reviewer commented these were brought to us just before half time which was a very welcome gesture and one that appears a recent introduction as I don’t recall this last season.  

 

At the end of the game Clare was back to escort us back to our mini-bus and ensure we were able to leave the ground easily without any problems.  

 

Toilet aside, we would happily return to Bramall Lane.

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Paul Robinson

Match: Sheffield United V Hull City 22/07/2008

Published: 26/10/2012

 

Appalling facilities and I use the word loosely. Almost inaccessible across a building site/ car park with broken paving slabs and a 1 in 2 gradient on the way out.

Housed/ dumped on pitch level and shoehorned into an afterthought of a disabled dugout, with fans so tightly squeezed together that anyone in a wheelchair risked grazed knuckles on the next chair.
 

View whilst not restricted by pillars was floor level, and usually blocked by aggressive, prowling stewards, when asked to move was met with nothing but abuse.

The threatening behaviour continued when one of the helpers stood with one foot apparently outside the wheelchair area, back to the pitch chatting to his companion. He was threatened with eviction if he didn�t put his foot back over the line.

When it was pointed out by a wheelchair user that the line was non existence, as there wasn�t any signage or line painted, they were threatened with eviction as well.

Disabled toilet was in a disgusting state as far as I could see, as I opened the door, the light didn�t work, mainly due to the fact that there was no bulb in it, so I had to leave the door ajar!

I can�t comment about the catering facilities as I never actually found them, and had no intention of asking the stewards.

Overall, one of the worst experiences of a football ground in many a year.

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Mel Jackson

Match: Sheffield United DLO

Published: 26/10/2012

 

Sheffield United Football Club employ an Away Disabled Supporters Steward, their role is to meet and greet visiting away disabled supporters advising them of the facilities available.

Specific tasks include

 Ensuring the line of vision for wheelchair users and ambulant disabled supporters remains unobstructed

Distributing blankets or rainwear to away disabled supporters if required, distributing headsets to visually impaired supporters allowing them to receive match commentary, assisting with any arrangements required for support dogs.

Obtaining drinks and refreshments from kiosks for any supporters travelling without the aid of a personal assistant, or personal assistant unable to leave them and offering complimentary drinks at half time.

The Club carried out a survey amongst visiting disabled supporters for the last 6 matches of the 2008/9 season with supporters being invited to complete a customer feedback form.

They were asked to mark between 1 to 5 (1poor, 2 below average, 3 average, 4 good and 5 excellent) various aspects of their visit, over the 6 matches

average scores were as follows:

Access into the Stadium and Disabled Area
3.87
View of the Pitch from the Disabled Area
3.57
Disabled Toilet
4.08
Attitude of Stewards Generally
4.92
Service Provided by Disabled Away Steward
4.95
Provision of Headsets for the Visually Impaired
4.80
Provision of Facilities for Assistance Dogs
4.00
Access to other Facilities
3.61
Overall Match Day Experience
4.22


The survey shows that on average the overall match day experience is rated between good and excellent, the Club will continue to monitor customer feedback and makes improvements to facilities and services where required.

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Andy Gubbins

Match: LEAGUE Vs LEICESTER CITY 03/02/2011

Published: 26/10/2012

 

Wheelchair enclosure next to our own supporters right in the corner. Wheelchairs had to sit forward from the space to see the goal our supporters were behind due to the 'dug out' style enclosure. Helpers had to stand as they would not have seen the goal due to the height and design of the enclosure.

Provided with a complimentary cup of tea/coffee at half time which was a nice touch and appreciated in the cold weather.

Stewards were very freindly and welcomming and were met of the coaches and escorted in and out of the stadium before and after the game.

The wheelchiar access and exit gate needs addressing. We travelled on a wheelchair accessible coach which parked on Brammel Lane outside the away supporters turnstiles.

However, wheelchair supporters had to walk 30 yds up hill and then 20 yds down Cherry Street and then down a VERY STEEP HILL, which is the main SUFC car park. To exit the stadium we had to use the same gate meaning wheelchair users had to be pushed UP the steep hill. One of the disability stewards pushed one of our supporters but we took more than one wheelchair supporter.

It took 2 PEOPLE to push one of our other supporters. We were also advised by the steward there was a disabled access gate right outside where the coaches drop off but were told "they were not alllowed to open it"

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