Football stadiums can get quite loud, and one NFL team has created a space for people with conditions that may cause them to need a break from the noise.
The Minnesota Vikings have opened a sensory-inclusive room inside U.S. Bank Stadium. It’s designed for people with autism, Down syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder or other conditions who may find the stadium experience to be overstimulating. The room was designed by KultureCity, a nonprofit that specializes in creating sensory-friendly environments.
“Games should be as accessible as possible, particularly for fans with special needs, and we are proud to work with organizations like KultureCity to take this significant step forward,” Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren said.
The space is 6 feet by 12 feet and is sound-protected. It has a sensory-active wall display, sensory toys, low lighting, bean bag chairs and sensory bags, the Vikings said. It uses Vikings colors so visitors to the room don’t feel too separated from the team while they are in there.
“The Vikings Official Science Partner 3M has provided earplugs and noise-canceling headphones for those who enter the space. A single-use bathroom is connected directly to the room,” according to the team.
As a result of the partnership with that company, the space has actually been dubbed the 3M Sensory Room.
The Vikings have been focusing on helping fans at their home stadium with autism for several years. In 2016 it began distributing free kits at guest services inside the stadium for anyone who may need one.
There’s a booklet available online that fans heading to the venue may read ahead of time to learn more about being comfortable during a football game.
KultureCity provides a free app for smartphones that helps fans of the Vikings learn more about the stadium’s sensory features. The group’s mission to inspire the community to create acceptance and inclusion for guests who are sensitive to loud noise and crowds.
The work the Vikings have done to be inclusive of those who get overwhelmed by the noise and crowd is really impressive. These kinds of amenities are just more reasons to bolster our ranking of U.S. Bank Stadium as one of the NFL’s best stadium experiences.