Audi Field, home of Major League Soccer Club D.C. United, has partnered with KultureCity to make the venue and all of the programs and events that the stadium hosts to be sensory-inclusive. This initiative promotes an accommodating and positive experience for all guests and fans with sensory sensitivities that visit.
The KultureCity Sensory Room, which has been generously donated by the Costabile Family, will be located at the top of Heineken Tower at Audi Field, and will be open for all events taking place at the stadium, including all D.C. United home matches. The dedicated space is designed by medical professionals for those who may need a quieter and more secure environment. This is imperative to ensure fans have a great guest experience. The sensory room is outfitted with Yogibo bean bags, Nanoleaf light panels, NunoErin light furniture, bubble walls, and custom tactile artwork created by an autistic artist.
“For Audi Field and D.C. United the experience we provide our fans and guests is paramount and this begins with what we are able to offer at our venue,” said Danita Johnson, D.C. United President of Business Operations. “Our partnership with KultureCity is one that we’ve been excited about for quite some time as it helps us further our mission to create an environment that makes all who interact with our club and our stadium feel welcome, safe, and included.”
In addition to the installation of the room, every year, D.C. United and Audi Field staff are trained by leading medical professionals on how to recognize guests and fans with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Sensory kits, equipped with noise canceling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget tools, verbal cue cards (produced in conjunction with Boardmaker) and weighted lap pads will be available to all guests at Audi Field who may feel overwhelmed by the environment.
Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to overstimulation and noise, which is often a byproduct of the entertainment hosted at top venues, like Audi Field.
“Our communities are what shapes our lives and to know that D.C. United and Audi Field are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing. We’re honored to partner with the club and their venue to provide a truly inclusive experience for all fans and guests!” said Uma Srivastava, Executive Director, KultureCity.
Prior to attending an event, families and individuals can download the free KultureCity App where one can view what sensory features are available and where they can access them. Also, on the App is the Social Story which will provide a preview of what to expect while enjoying an event.