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Football

Southend United

League 2
Roots Hall Stadium
Capacity: 12,086
Roots Hall Stadium
Victoria Avenue
Southend-on-Sea
Essex
SS2 6NQ.

Disabled supporters contact

Club or stadium contact
 for disabled fans

Gavin Preston
Ticket Office Manager

01702 304 050

General ticket office contact

Ticket Office

0844 477 0077

Accessible ticket contact

Gavin Preston
Ticket Office Manager

01702 304 050

Accessibility information

Number of wheelchair user spaces

Actual:
26
Home: 20 Away: 6.

Home wheelchair spaces located in the west stand.

Away wheelchair spaces located in the north stand.

Number of accessible toilets

Actual:
4

Audio commentary

Dedicated steward with Portable radio, tuned into our match on BBC radio - Home: 5 Away: 2. These can be collected from and returned to a steward.

Sensory room

Southend United do not currently have a Sensory room available.

Accessible services + information

Assistance dogs

There are not currently any relieving stations provided for assistance

dogs.

Hearing loops

There is no hearing loop in the ticket office.

Club shop

Southend United do not currently have low level serving counters in the club shop.

We have a ramp and a lowered desk at the ticket office.

Club hospitality

Southend United do have spaces in hospitality and VIP areas for wheelchair users.

Braille and large print provision

Club do not currently provide any disabled supporters information i.e. booklet with a map of accessible facilities in accessible formats (large print, easy read).

Food concession stands

There are not currently accessible catering facilities i.e. low level serving counters at kiosks, available.

Total number of parking spaces

Home: 20 Away: 6.

You can book accessible parking via ticket office.

This is located 20 yards from the entrance/exit.

How we set targets

We use accepted industry standards to set the club targets. The reference documents include: Accessible Stadia Guide 2003 and Accessible Stadia Supplementary Guidance 2015; Building Regulations Approved Document M, Access to and Use of Buildings; BS 8300, Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people; Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (Green Guide); Access for All, UEFA and CAFE Good Practice Guide to Creating an Accessible Stadium and Matchday Experience

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Let us know about your matchday experience at Southend United to help improve access and inclusion.

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Read comments from other fans

About this page

This information is provided by Southend United. Level Playing Field (LPF) cannot be held responsible if the service and provision differs from what is stated here.

If you have any queries please contact us.

Updated September 2020

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Fan comments

Comments reflect the views of the fans themselves and do not necessarily reflect the views of LPF.

  • Daniel Townley,
    8 months ago

    [Response from Southend Utd to Martin’s comment below]

    Dear Reviewer,

    Roots Hall was a reasonable stadium in the 1950’s. Times have moved on along with knowledge, design, materials and all the other improvements subsequent to when the Stadium was first built – as have all our expectations as to what is acceptable. We allocate substantial amounts of time and money to ensure that we exceed all the safety requirements; while knowing that it will still not give our supporters the good experience we would like to deliver.
    Our new stadium will cater for all fans; having state of the art facilities available to them; being designed by the best in the business and built with the best materials available. The Chairman of the Club spends substantial amounts of time on getting Planning permission for the Stadium of the future – as then we would have the “tools” to deliver the experience to home and away fans which is consistent with the standard of excellence for which we aim.

    The disabled area in question was created within the past 10 years in front of the away stand; however within the constraints of the old stadium we are not able to do anything about access to the toilet facilities. Consequently we have to wait for a quiet time to allow safe movement of the disabled supporter through the home area. We will look at having a dedicated steward on hand at all times to escort the disable supporter to the entrance of the toilet and back again – if practical we will implement it. Unfortunately this is still “a make do” arrangement and will only be satisfactorily addressed with the new stadium.

    Safety of all supporters is paramount for all of our Stewards and they look to manage all situations in a way that will not put anyone at risk or harm. Aligned with the prime goal of Safety first is the enjoyment by all supporters of the limited facility we currently have. This involves training which the Staff will carry forward to the new stadium. The training is continual and consequently we are grateful as a club to be informed where we have fallen short so that the remedial training can take place and Stewards reinforced with the fact that all supporters are paying customers – who pay our salaries. The fact that supporters are paying customers and must be treated respectfully and dealt with courteously is one of the first lessons the stewards are taught – During the briefing before the next match this will be re iterated. Normally we receive compliments for the good nature in which our staff do their work.

    The Club apologise for the negative experience that of this particular away fan. We will endeavour to make any practical changes possible within the limitations of an old stadium so as to enhance the experience of both home and away fans. We are grateful to all our supporters and visitors for their patience while we work on obtaining planning permission for the new stadium.

  • Daniel Townley,
    8 months ago

    [Response from Southend United to Jo Newall’s fan comment below]:

    Dear Reviewer,

    We are aware that we are currently working with a very old stadium and do not have all the facilities in our current ground that we would like.

    Our new stadium plans cater for all fans having state of the art facilities available to them, which is why the Chairman of the Club spends so much time in trying to get this approved by our local council. He is aware that the current stadium at Roots Hall is no longer at a satisfactory standard.

    The Club apologise for the negative experience that this particular away fan had whilst we try to get the new stadium development passed and we will endeavour to make any practical changes to enhance the experience of both home and away fans.

  • Martin Jenkins, who attended Southend vs Coventry
    8 months ago

    Disabled away fans had to gain access from the home stand to get to the stand we were in. Disability toilets were accessible only by leaving the ground to re enter but worst of all was not being allowed through a gate to get back towards our away coach due to “security issues with mixing the crowds” yet they were happy to suggest we walk around…. fans asking to access their cars on the other side of the gate were told the same except they were happy for crowds to mix had they walked around and back into the grounds car park. 4 stewards were at the gate and yet they were “unable” to let a wheelchair and carer through. They also said that if there was trouble with supporters outside the ground it was therefore not their responsibility and were happy the police would have to deal with any issue that may have arisen if we had trouble mixing with their supporters. What a terrible way to deal with a simple request for a disabled person on each side of the gate

  • Jo Newall, who attended 26/12/19
    9 months ago

    I am a powerchair user and my husband is severely visually impaired. This was our third visit as away fans to Roots Hall, so I was a bit surprised that I had not previously done a review on it. On each occasion we have travelled to the ground in an accessible mini-bus that is part of our Club’s official away travel.

    Arriving at the Ground
    Twice we have entered at the away end, via a narrow gap between houses. On our first visit our mini bus was then parked relatively close to where we entered the ground. On this visit it was parked by stewards as far as way as it could be having turned off the main road. (On our second visit we entered the ground through the main gate and parked on the main car park.) The ground around the perimeter of the stadium is very uneven for wheelchairs with big dips and ridges in unexpected places. The access for away wheelchair fans is not at the away end but round the corner past the ticket sales and then right through a big gate and up to the pitch where you turn right again through a gate to get into the front (pitch level) of the away end. We have discovered that on wet days this means going through deep muddy puddles at the edge of the pitch.

    Seating Area
    There is actually no seating area for away wheelchair fans other than sitting in front of the front row of seats pitchside. P/As are seated on the front row of seats. When it rains you get wet both from the rain and the drips off the roof. Should you be there in hot sun, you are in full sun. When I complained to a Supervisor, we were getting soaked whilst all the able bodied fans were in the dry, the response amounted to, “we have concreted the floor, there is nothing more we can do”. Reference was made to “you should be thankful you are not at Gillingham” (clearly unaware that away wheelchair fans at Gillingham are now undercover) and a reference to “normal fans” which when challenged, he said was a slip of the tongue! It was noticeable that we were so wet, that fans we did not even know, were commenting as they passed us, on how unacceptable it was for us to be sat in such rain. Conversely on an earlier visit when an elderly scooter user was struggling in the full sun and asked to be moved, he was told there was no where he could be moved to. When St John Ambulance staff were asked for and they stated he needed to be moved, he was. Weather issues aside, you get a good view of the game and there is no problem with people walking in front of you.

    Accessible Toilet
    Southend is the only time in visiting over 60 grounds that to get to the accessible loo, I have had to exit the stadium and go across the car park to reach the loo! The accessible loo (radar key required) is by the away end turn styles (I have found it is best to go before you actually go into the ground). You can only enter it by cutting off access/exit to the ladies toilets! The first time I went the smell in it was so bad that I could not enter it and when I asked for it to be cleaned, despite the cleaner telling me “it smelt like someone had died in there”, it was not cleaned and the Supervisor told me it was not dirty it was just the “drains can’t cope”! Be warned! Another first there are no paper hand towels or electric hand drier but a cloth towel, surely at best this is not hygienic? I could not obtain any hot water either, which also concerned me in respect of personal hygiene.

    Overall
    In my experience, very poor facilities for away wheelchair fans, could do a lot better if they wanted to. I would say best avoided if you are a wheelchair user wanting a good experience of going to an away game.

  • Sheila, who attended Southend v York
    6 years ago

    I attended this match with my disabled son as his carer. When I collected the tickets, I asked which way to the away turnstiles, the steward said, “down those steps & round the corner” and yet he could see my son was in a wheelchair.

    On entry into the ground, a supervisor moved a wheelie bin and said the wheelchair had to go there. (among all the groundsmans sand, brushes, forks shovels etc, He said to me “I’ll find you a seat” he did under a pile of rubbish & then he said I would have to clean it, wonder what he expected me to use.

    All the first aiders, stewards. fire officer & police repeatedly stood in front of us, the steward ignored my request to asked them to move, so I asked them myself, but they repeatedly moved back

  • Rob Lewarne, who attended vs Colchester United 05/11/2008
    8 years ago

    Having been told about a month previously that wheelchair spaces were in the Main Stand with the home supporters, I tried the club again a few days before the game to be told that it was now possible to sit in the away stand as a few seats had been removed, so bought tickets for that stand.

    Upon entering the ground (through the home stand) I was directed towards what resembled a bin store (well there was a big wheely bin in there anyway!) between the Main Stand & away stand and told that was where i was supposed to sit. I explained (quite politely) that I had a ticket for the away stand and not a “bin store” and was let through a gate into the stand. As for there being some seats removed to allow wheelchairs to sit in the front row ………………. no chance – in front of the front row are about another 3-4 steps down to the wall around the pitch – difficult enough to negotiate on foot, let alone on wheels!!

    I ended up sitting in the corner to one side of the stand on the steps up to the refreshment area, but once the game had kicked off was told by a steward that I had to move to where the bin was. At this point I refused so the head steward was called and he again tried to make me move. In the end, after missing about 5 minutes of the game, I was wheeled around next to the pitch to sit on one of the flat areas at the bottom of the steps behind the goal.

    I only wrote the above to point out that I had been promised space in the away stand (who wants to sit with home fans at a derby game ??!!) and purchased a ticket on that basis. If I had known a) that the “bin store” was what was on offer or that b) you can’t actually get a wheelchair into the away stand, then I possibly (probably) wouldn’t have bought the ticket in the first place !!

    Very poor service, awful facilities and it would seem that they will tell you anything to get you to buy a ticket !! (Not just sour grapes from a Colchester fan either !)

    I will be writing a letter !

  • Jackie Melia, who attended Southend v Bury FC 11/02/2011
    8 years ago

    On entry to the ground one of our disabled supporters nearly fell out of his wheelchair, the concrete was uneven and he had probems manovering his electric wheelchair. They put us near our own supporters but pitch side, right near the corner flag, I don’t think they realise how frightening it can be when you’ve got the ball heading towards you, and your unable to try and stop it yourself.

    Toilets None of the stewards that was near us knew where the disabled toilet was and had to go and see if they could find it. We ended up being taken to the directors area to use the toilet there.

    Parking There is parking available even though it is limited. We had to park round the back of the club near the ticket office, as we was told we couldn’t park on the carpark, it was for season ticket holders only.