Downtown Washington, D.C. Stadium, Home of D.C. United, to Have a Permanent Space In-Venue Dedicated to Sensory-Friendly Environment
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 6, 2022) – 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 ensuring fans have a great guest experience. The sensory room is outfitted with bean bags from Yogibo, the visual light panels by Nanoleaf, activity panels, Sparkle Interactive Light (by NunoErin - a therapeutically fun furniture embedded with soft glowing lights that respond to motion), bubble walls, and a 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 bags, 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 over stimulation 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.
For more information on Audi Field and a schedule of events, please visit www.audifield.com.
About Audi Field
D.C. United have called the District home for the past 24 seasons and continued that tradition when they moved into their new state-of-the-art and soccer-specific stadium, Audi Field, in Buzzard Point, Southwest D.C., in July 2018.
The iconic 20,000-seat LEED certified new home of D.C. United is located in the fastest growing area in downtown D.C. An entertainment and event destination 365-days, Audi Field hosts over 100 events year-round. Complete with a brand new FanDuel sportsbook, Audi Field houses corporate outings, a culinary and music festival, Unite the District Fest, and world class international sporting events from D.C. United and the Washington Spirit, to Premier League Lacrosse and College Football, and many more.
For more information, please visit www.audifield.com and find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @AudiField.
About D.C. United
One of the founding clubs of Major League Soccer in 1996, D.C. United are among the most decorated teams in the United States with 13 domestic and international trophies.
D.C. United have called the District home for the past 26 seasons and play their home games at Audi Field in the Buzzard Point neighborhood of Southwest, Washington, D.C, which opened in 2018. In addition to D.C. United games, the 20,000-seat soccer-specific stadium hosts over 100 events year-round, including the District’s premier arts, culinary, and music festival, Unite the District Fest. Audi Field will soon be home to America’s number one sportsbook through a partnership with FanDuel Group.
The Black-and-Red have won the MLS Cup four times (1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004), the Supporters’ Shield four times (1997, 1999, 2006 and 2007) and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup three times (1996, 2008 and 2013).
For more information and club updates, please visit www.dcunited.com and find us on social media @DCUnited.
KultureCity is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using its resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs, not just those with autism. Since the program’s inception, KultureCity has created over 1,000 sensory-inclusive venues in 6 countries: this includes special events such as the NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl and MLB All Star Weekend. KultureCity has won many awards for its efforts, including the NASCAR Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award in 2017 and the 2018 Clio Sports Silver for social good in partnership with Cleveland Cavaliers/Quicken Loans Arena. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Quiet Space Sensory Room at Quicken Loans Arena was a finalist for the 2018 Stadium Business Award, KultureCity was named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019 and 2020 by Fast Company and recently won the Industry Partner Award in TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Awards 2019.