Stevenage

Stevenage

Stadium Information

Stadium

The Lamax stadium

Address

Broadhall Way
Stevenage
SG2 8RH

Club / stadium contact for disabled supporters

Name

Dom Steer

Telephone no.

01438 223 223

E-mail address

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 is a club car park with 12 accessible parking spaces for both home and away supporter’s available, pre book over the phone. Drop of facilities are available.

 

National Rail have published links to the nearest stations to sporting venues including Stevenage 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 information on purchasing a ticket please visit the Stevenage website. For further details please contact them on 01438 218072.

Spectator Viewing areas

 

Home supporters have 6 spaces for wheelchair users available to them, and these can be found on a raised platform. 6 spaces for wheelchair users can be found on a raised platform in the home section for away supporters.

 

NB: Under existing minimum standards for accessible stadia, the club should have 71 wheelchair spaces (60 home and up to 11 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 17% of the guidance and has a shortfall of 59 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. The club shop is accessible for all fans and has 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.  Stewards are trained to provide assistance in carrying refreshments for disabled supporters.

Accessible services & information

 

The club does not have a hearing loop. Match commentaries are not available. Facilities for assistance dogs are available.  The concourses do not have rest areas included.

 

Updated October 2013.

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Comments

Sheila & Dave

Match: Stevenage v York 06/09/2014

Published: 10/9/2014

 

We bought our tickets & booked a car parking space 2 weeks prior to the match. We travelled down early and had a meal in the Harvester pub. 

 

Arriving at the ground, the car park steward couldn't find us on his list, but let us into the ground. Another car park steward told us where to go, then a third steward, when asked, told us to park anywhere. We did and he watched us taking the electric wheelchair out of the rear of the car with the hoist and he said he would make sure no one parked behind us.

 

I collected the match tickets from the ticket office, no problem. We didnt go into the club shop as there were plenty of programme sellers outside.  We had a drink in the bar which had a ramp, and watched the match on tv.

 

Leaving the club, we noticed a car parked immediately behind us with a gap of around a foot between and the same car park steward was still standing around. A Stevenage fan asked us if we knew where the entrance was, we said no and he told us. Another steward then sent us around three sides of the ground to where the disabled fans entered. Why he didnt send us left instead of right puzzled us.

 

Arriving at the home end, we entered through large doors and the steward checked our tickets and took us to an elevated area in the corner behind the goal. Only one other wheelchair was there so we parked at the end.  A steward then said "you are all right stopping there because he isnt coming today" Wonder if they all have their personal spaces?

I was then asked if I would like a chair & it was gratefully accepted.  A steward then pointed out the tea bar & accessible toilets which were down a ramp behind us.

 

We were the only couple from York in the home end, but I still stood up & cheered when we scored much to the disgust of everyone else and then a steward came & stood behind me. All the fans there were very friendly except one grumpy one sat at the side of me, who didnt seem to be with anyone & certainly didnt need a wheelchair user space.  

 

Leaving the ground we had to walk quite a way back to the car park & almost got lost until a man I'd been talking to in the ground pointed out we had missed the gate back into the car park & we had to turn back.  Arriving at the car, we couldnt get the wheelchair anywhere near, so had to drive the car onto the road causing a little obstruction while we took the wheelchair round and loaded it. Only took a few minutes to get back onto the motorway. The fans were all very friendly & so were the stewards,but the car park one was as useful as a bollard. A good day out.

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Sheffield United Disabled Supporters Club (SUDS)

Match: V SUFC Dec 21st 2013

Published: 13/1/2014

 

Still no better than when we went last time although they do provide 3 folding chairs for the carers however if we had taken all our allocation (5 spaces) the carers would have had to sit behind as it is a cramped area. Good job we were there first and claimed the chairs as if the home fans arrived first they would have had them.  Still no lock on the toilet door but there was HOT water.  No emergency pull cord either. I personally would not go again.

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J&J

Match: 08/10/2013 JPT R2

Published: 24/10/2013

 

Our fourth visit to the Lamax as away wheelchair fans in 4 consecutive seasons and our third LPF website review.   We are therefore restricting this review to any updates from our last visit 6 mths ago. 

 

Access to the Ground

One positive change is that for the first time we were able to buy our away wheelchair tickets from our own club as do non disabled away fans.   This avoided the difficulties of getting tickets that I have previously reported on.   The driver of the wheelchair mini-bus, part of our Club’s official away travel, that we always travel in, reported that she had not been given any instructions about parking at the Club, so we just took it on ourselves to aim to park where we did 6 months ago (see our last review).   As no one stopped us doing so and we could remember the route it all worked really well (we did get there early before the ground opened and it was not an overly large crowd).

 

Facilities in the Ground for Away Wheelchair Fans

Viewing Areas

Disappointed that Stevenage are still putting away wheelchair fans in the home stand at the opposite end of the ground to non disabled away fans.   The fold-up seats for companions that were provided in April were available again.   Not sure of the reasoning behind this but the companions with the away fans used the seats but the companions with the home fans didn’t!  I got a good 3G signal.    My friend who went to a pre-season friendly at Stevenage reported that the wheelchair fans of the local Championship Club she supports were at the away end.   I can’t for one minute imagine she was lying to me or mistaken (she shares my passion about this).  Surely if it is deemed unsafe for league and cup games it is equally unsafe at pre-season friendlies.   This apparent double-standard is beyond me but I am just too battle weary to write to Stevenage again!  Although done with good humour, concern was expressed by our Steward that we had with us a large flag for our Club and my husband was shouting encouragement for our players during the game.   If we had been at the away end, as we should have been, this would have been considered perfectly normal behaviour from away fans.  

 

Refreshments

As a relatively small crowd was expected the refreshment counter to the right of the wheelchair fans area was closed.   The nearest was at the opposite corner.    In getting there you need to stay close to the back of the stand if you wish to avoid the steps half-way.   Coffee was £1.50 – excellent value compared to other grounds.   No lowered counter.  

 

Accessible Toilets

If you have read about my previous efforts to get a lock on the accessible loo you will appreciate how disappointed I was to hear that the “new” lock was damaged 3 days prior to my most recent visit and it was thought best in view of this if I didn’t lock the door in case it gets stuck!   I trust this will quickly be repaired.   The toilet is a left hand transfer.   I think I am remembering correctly when I say that I managed to get hot water, there was hand soap, hand drier and paper towels provided and the toilet was clean.  

 

Headset Commentaries for Visually Impaired Fans

Although Stevenage’s website does not give any details, my severely visually impaired husband remembered that on our last visit to Stevenage he was provided with a DAB radio to listen to the local radio match commentary to help him follow the game.   I rang to request this and was told that it was available, the radio to be collected and returned to the Club Shop with a £10 returnable deposit payable.   When I explained that it is difficult for severely visually impaired away fans to find the shop and explained how the system worked really well 6-months ago with the radio being passed to my husband by the steward at the wheelchair area and collected by them at the end, this was agreed in principle but the person I was speaking to wanted to know how with this arrangement the £10 deposit could be paid.   The same arrangement for provision of the radio as in April did work again successfully without payment of any £10 deposit.  

 

Attitude of Club Officials

Following on from our last visit we were so pleased to find Jane was the steward again for the wheelchair area.   As brilliant as ever.   She seems to be able to pop up exactly at the moment you need her.   Such is her skill in this that she saved my husband from falling down the steps when he went for coffee, patrolled the accessible loo when I went given the dodgy lock, sorted the headset commentary for my husband without any problems and guided him (properly) out of the ground at the end.   

 

 After the Match

No problems.

 

 Will We go Again?

Given that Stevenage is one of our least favourite grounds as we are sat with the home fans at the opposite end of the pitch to all the other away fans, we are thrilled at the prospect of  visiting twice this season.   Perhaps by our league fixture in March we will be in a newly installed viewing area for visiting wheelchair users at the away end.  

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Janet Ireland Sheffield United Disabled Supporters Club

Match: Bad stadium, never go again 16/03/2013

Published: 13/6/2013

 

Firstly I was told we HAD to collect our tickets from the ticket office on the day as they do not post out. !!

 

On arrival we had to walk round 2 sides of the ground on the outside to get to the ticket office and then walk back having left all the wheelchair/carers waiting for me to return. On entry we were told we were with the home fans and that the carers had to stand, not good for 2 of them as they had walking difficulties and cannot stand for 2 hours. Told nothing they could or would do about that.  So we had to stand up.

 

The area is under cover but no back on so as it was on a very windy and cold day it was very draughty to say the least, dread to think if it was wet what we would have done. The carers would have been soaked.  

 

Toilet was OK and Jane the steward was helpful and pleasant. I personally would never go again unless I could sit by the wheelchair supporters I accompany. Told I cannot take a stool in with me as under health and safety rules it is not safe to do so.  

 

It is time that Stevenage got up to standard with their disabled facilities and let away fans sit with their own fans and provide seats for the carers.

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J&J

Match: 27/04/13

Published: 12/5/2013

 

Given my previous experience of visiting Stevenage as an away fan (See my review of 24/01/12) and the other critical reviews of Stevenage by away fans since, I could not believe that this season we would be there on the last day of the season.  Being sat at the other end of the stadium to the away fans in the home end on the last day of the season was something that I swore all season I would not do.   Hence at the beginning of March I asked the Box Officer Manager at my own club did she want to or should I approach Stevenage to ensure that we were sat with our own fans to enjoy the last day of the season celebrations.   She said leave it with her and very quickly she came back with the news that we would be ok - we could sit with our own fans.   I should have known, it was Stevenage – who I know get things wrong!   

 

On the day the tickets were released it transpired that our Box Officer Manager had been given the wrong information and as away wheelchair fans we would be sat with the Stevenage fans at the opposite end of the stadium to all the away non disabled fans.  We were being treated as modern day lepers, cut off from our own community, unable to see, hear or take part in any of our Club’s last day of the season celebrations.    Celebrations which having been to every away game bar one this season felt very special to me.    As if I was an non disabled away fan who sat in the home stand I would be evicted, I set about stopping this discrimination.   Despite complaints to Stevenage FC, my own club, my MP, LPF, the FA, my local press and the Equality Council, I failed and had to be a modern day leper, watching my club’s end of season celebrations from afar and hoping that perhaps one day I won’t be discriminated against for using a wheelchair.   

 

Adam Cockfield, Head of Operations at Stevenage FC, told me that as a football fan himself he was totally sympathetic to my grievance but unfortunately the Club had not had the financial resources to make provision for wheelchair users at the away end since being promoted to League 1 and whilst it hoped to do so in the future, as the removal of concrete involved would be expensive, it was unclear when the change could be made.    I can only think the more complaints Stevenage FC receive about their discrimination of away wheelchair users the more likely change will be and I would encourage people to do so.   I actually encouraged able-bodied fans to complain and I know this happened to the response of “yes we know”!    Perhaps for me the greatest shock was to be told by the Equality Council that this discriminatory treatment of away wheelchair fans would probably not be judged illegal, as it would likely be accepted that it was unreasonable to expect such provision to be made given the financial pressures on the Club and the best hope for change is persuading the Club they want to do it for the best of reasons.

 

Location aside, in keeping with earlier reviews about Stevenage FC, I again encountered the club giving away wheelchair fans contradictory information about ticket purchases.   When I rang Stevenage FC on the lst day the tickets were released, I was told that I could book my place but could not purchase a ticket until I arrived at the Club on the day of the match.   A few days later a fellow wheelchair user rang Stevenage and was allowed to purchase their ticket by ‘phone and have it posted to them.    Fearful that I would arrive at the match to be told there was no room for me, I included this in my pre-visit communication with the Club and was subsequently telephoned and asked if I would like to purchase my ticket by telephone and have it posted to me, which then happened without difficulty.

 

In fairness to Adam Cockfield he was keen that we did not suffer the same experience that we had last season on arriving at the ground (when he was not at the Club) and he helpfully arranged for our Club’s wheelchair accessible mini-bus to park as near to our entrance as possible and instructed me to ring him on our arrival if we had any problems.  Adam kept his promise to come and see us before the game even though he was clearly busy at the time.   The parking worked and we were grateful.   To clarify, the entrance for away wheelchair fans is on the opposite side of the road to the entrance to the main car park, across a dual carriageway, which you need to use a congested underpass to cross and a not insignificant distance.   The area around the ground has several out of town shopping centres although I did not see enough to comment on what outlets there were.   

 

We were also grateful for the provision of companion seats that Adam arranged, having previously been told such was not possible for health and safety reasons.   Equally, I am pleased to report there is a lock on the accessible toilet – it was shiny and looked new!   The toilet is down the slope to the left of the wheelchair area (stay close to the stand to avoid the steps)- a red door across from the stand.   Another improvement this season was the provision of DAB radios for blind and partially sighted fans to get the radio commentary on the match, available to home and away fans which we requested beforehand and was handed to us by the steward on our arrival.   The snack bar is visible to the right, in the adjacent home stand.   I did not make any purchases but the person next to me said the burger they bought was excellent for both quality and price.  

 

The provision for home and away wheelchair fans is at the rear of the standing terrace behind the goal.    It is covered and the roof did not leak this time as it did last season, hence we remained dry in a heavy downpour.   The view is excellent and unobstructed.   The Club state there is room for 12 wheelchairs.   Whilst it was obvious that some Stevenage wheelchair fans had “their own spot” where they sat for every game, we were told to sit wherever we wished and that there wasn’t a home and away end within the wheelchair area.   Generally it seemed the companions stood behind the wheelchairs, not least as a way of making room for the stated capacity of 12 wheelchairs.  The Stevenage fans around us were friendly and we were made to feel welcome.    Jane, the steward for the wheelchair area is the most attentive steward we have ever met in visiting 40 grounds, she is just fantastic in making sure that you are ok  in the time before the match, during the match, the interval and at the end.    A nurse by profession and mother of a disabled son, she is a true treasure for Stevenage and all the wheelchair fans.

 

We did enjoy our afternoon albeit we would have enjoyed it so much more had we been sat at the away end and been able to participate in the end of season celebrations with our fellow fans who we had travelled the country with over the season.    Yes, we will definitely return to Stevenage next season to enjoy the new provision for away wheelchair fans at the away end or to complain further that such provision is still missing!

 

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J and J

Match: 24/01/2012

Published: 26/10/2012

 

Based on my visit as an away fan to Stevenage on 24/01/12 I would rate Stevenage as the worst away ground of the 29 I have visited in the past few years. Every member of staff from the box office onwards responded to me as if they had never seen a wheelchair disabled fan before and when I complained, the Chairman managed to put such a spin on his reply that he blamed my home club! For starters box office staff at Stevenage would not have it that away wheelchair fans had to get their tickets from them and sent me on a wild goose chase to get them from my own club. Stevenage do not have headset commentaries for visually impaired fans. Whilst last year I was able to sit with my own fans, this season away fans are seated in the home end, as far away from their own fans as possible with no seats provided for their carers. If you are visiting as an away fan my advice is to be very clear, ask to where you need to park and enter the stadium, as the stewards when I visited had no idea and consistently mis-directed the away wheelchair fans. There was no bolt on the disabled toilet when I visited. In the reply to my complaint letter, Stevenage's Chairman told me that bolts had now been put on the toilet doors and that Stewards were going to be retrained in relation to away wheelchair fans. Lets hope therefore that if you visit as an away wheelchair fan you experience is better than mine, I doubt it could be worse.

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Rob Lewarne

Match: Poor 20/03/2012

Published: 26/10/2012

 

It's taken me this long to calm down enough to write this... ignorant club, ignorant stewards and you couldn't be sitting further from your own fans if they tried. Shocking planning, especially as the away fans stand looked reasonably new. Don't think I'll bother next time...

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Colchester-on-Wheels

Match: Awful. Just awful. 21/03/2012

Published: 26/10/2012

 

The worse ground I have ever had the misfortune to visit. My carer (herself semi-ambulant) wasn't allowed to sit with me. Some stewards offered a stool for her to sit next to me , but this was refused on their persistent mantra of "health and safety". Whatever that means. Same as being miles a way from the away support "health and safety". You get the gist. I have many complaints that it's difficult to list them all. The disabled toilet still doesn't have a lock and the door opened inwards. Someone should really have a talk with this club about 21 century provisions for the disabled.

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Gary Deards

Match: Update 30/03/2012

Published: 26/10/2012

 

Having visited Stevenage last season with Reading, I can concur with everything that other people have said. 1) We had to park over the dual carriageway & walk under the road, mix with home fans etc which was a bit worrying after the game - it's quite a trek for non-wheelchair users. 2) We too had problems buying tickets, queuing to get them only to be told they were left for us elsewhere 3) Being directed to the wrong turnstiles (twice) + stewards not knowing what was the accessible entrance. 4) I refused to sit with the home fans an asked to sit with the away fans next to the Sky TV commentator – I’d rather do this and have no facilities than face the abuse of home fans.  The club/staff/stewards really need some disability awareness training and realise that we too are customers.

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