Skip to content


Sports grounds should be inclusive and accessible to all spectators – no one should be excluded on grounds of disability.

Sports grounds should be inclusive and accessible to all spectators – no one should be excluded on grounds of disability.  

Grounds should strive to meet all the aspirations of their disabled supporters so that fans can enjoy an equal experience at live events and that grounds are fully accessible and inclusive with a focus on making all supporters’ services equal and inclusive.   

The provision of such facilities does not have to cost the club much in terms of investment in facilities. But the impact of making such changes can be massive for disabled people.

Stadia vary greatly in capacity from a few thousand to many that host tens of thousands of spectators. All of these will be different because of their location, scale and site factors.

Many clubs and stadia provide activities and facilities outside of match days and are an important part of local community life. Common to all is the need to provide well designed, managed and operated facilities that meet the expectations and demands of spectators, all of whom wish to experience and enjoy the thrills and excitement that these occasions can deliver.

With the invaluable support and suggestions of  Level Playing Field the SGSA has developed the Accessible Stadia (PDF) document and Accessible Stadia Supplementary Guidance (PDF) as a benchmark of good practice for new and existing sports grounds.  It offers practical, clear solutions that will help deliver high-quality grounds with facilities and services that are accessible, inclusive and welcoming for all.

The information contained in this publication is intended to provide useful guidance, but is not a definitive statement applicable to all circumstances. Independent professional advice should be obtained before taking any action or from refraining from taking any action on the basis of this information.

Access audit

Disabled spectators must be accommodated within a sports ground without prejudicing their safety, or the safety of others.

All venues should conduct an access audit ahead of hosting an event to understand how accessible it is in terms of:

  • Ticketing procedures, including the provision for assistants to attend
  • Transport and traffic issues, including drop-off and pick-up point and parking spaces for disabled people
  • Appropriate training of staff and stewards, for example in effective but sensitive searching procedures
  • Ingress, egress and emergency egress procedures for disabled people
  • Accessible amenities, such as ticket officers, retail and catering outlets and toilets
  • Provision of appropriate viewing accommodation
  • Provision of appropriate communications, such as signage, printed materials, hearing loops

Access audits should be carried out by competent persons who have the relevant qualifications, skills and experience, and who are familiar with the kind of events being staged and the typical audience profile.

Accessibility Plan

An Accessibility Plan is an important part of the Operations Manual, which sets out how the venue management and/or event organiser intend to meet the needs of disabled people at the venue.

The Accessibility Plan should be developed following the completion of the Access Audit. 

As with all areas of the Operations Manual, should needs differ for a particular event, or if there any changes to the venue or its surrounds which effect accessibility, these changes should be recorded in an event specific Accessibility Plan which should form a supplement to the Event Management Plan

Where possible, it is also recommended that the venue management and/or event organiser appoint a Disability Access Officer, with the responsibility to advise and liaise with senior members of the safety management team in all matters relating to access, including compliance with equality legislation, and to act as a point of contact for disabled spectators attending, or seeking to attend an event.

Guidance and other support

Accessible Stadia and Supplementary Guidance

These guidance documents, provided by the SGSA, offer practical solutions that will help deliver high-quality grounds with facilities and services that are accessible, inclusive and welcoming for all.

They concentrate on design and provision for disabled spectators at stadia and their needs, the removal of physical barriers, facility improvements at existing stadia and well considered design solutions at new stadia will create and provide more inclusive facilities and accessibility for all people who attend and spectate.

(To note, this guidance is currently being reviewed by Level Playing Field.)

Other organisations

Level Playing Field (LPF) – believes that being a disabled person is a social issue and that an individual only becomes disabled because of the social, attitudinal and environmental barriers that the individual faces (this is known as the social model of disability). Level Playing Field is focussed on removing these barriers in all sports.

Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) – it’s visions is a world where disabled people are a key part of the global sporting landscape, as fans, employees, volunteers and leaders, so that everyone has equal opportunities to contribute in an accessible, inclusive and welcoming environment.