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SPORT Disabled access at stadiums ‘woeful’

Te government is to launch a survey into the treatment of disabled people at UK stadiums and sports venues. Disabled sports fans will

be encouraged to share their experiences of all aspects of viewing live sport – including wheelchair access, disabled parking, accessible toilets, hearing loops and their treatment by other supporters at live sporting fixtures. Te survey and its results

will be used to guide the gov- ernment’s efforts to improve spectator experiences for the UK’s 12 million disabled people. Previously, the government called on

Swansea was one of the only clubs to meet disability space requirements

Britain’s football leagues to take urgent action to redress some of the “woeful” lack of appropriate support and space for disabled spectators, reminding them of their legal obligations to provide adequate room and adjustments for disabled fans. Research showed nearly half of Premier

League clubs don’t offer even half the wheel- chair space they should for disabled people. Mark Harper, minister of state for disabled

people, said: “For too long in this country disabled sports fans have been treated like second class citizens at many sporting venues. “Yet 25 per cent of us have an impairment,

and disabled people and their households have a spending power of over £200bn.” Meanwhile, evidence from disability charity

Level Playing Field has revealed that as many as half of Premier League football clubs operate season ticket policies which could be deemed as discriminatory against disabled sports fans. Details:

SMG, Live Nation to manage Bristol Arena

Global facility management giant SMG, in partnership with Live Nation, has been named the preferred bidder to operate the 12,000-seat Bristol Arena when it opens in 2017. The Bristol Arena, set to

become the UK’s largest indoor arena, will be located at an old oil depot site near the city’s Temple Meads Station and is expected to cost around £95m to build. A multi-use venue, the

arena will be capable of hosting a number of sporting events, as well as large-scale conferences and concerts. Te arena is part of a wider Allies and Morrison masterplan for the area. Naming an operator now means Bristol City Council (BCC) – which is leading the project – can begin pre-application discus- sions with the local community. A planning application is expected to be filed later in 2015. Based in the US, SMG currently operates

arenas in Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Belfast as well as several UK theatres through

Read Leisure Opportunities online: Five multi-disciplinary design teams have been shortlisted for the Arena

its SMG-Europe subsidiary. It also manages two venues in Germany and one in Poland. Wes Westley, SMG president and CEO, said:

“We think the Arena will be a fantastic venue for future entertainment and community events. Tis unique partnering of global giants Live Nation and SMG will ensure that the Arena is operated at a world-class level with top events for Bristolians and the South West. Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2015

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