Revised Accessibility Plans
Manchester United is creating 118 new wheelchair positions & 158 new amenity seats in dedicated facilities across Old Trafford, including a new purpose-built concourse at the back of the Stretford End.
The fully compliant, new accessible facilities, which are due to be permanently in use for the 2020/21 season, will take the total to 278 wheelchair positions and 278 dedicated amenity seats across the stadium. This will ensure that we offer a wider choice of vantage points around the stadium, at different levels and various prices. The new facilities will be located in:
- Stretford End Tier 1,
- Stretford End Tier 2,
- the Away End, and
- extended facilities in the North West Quadrant Tier 2.
Following the club’s commitment in 2017 to improve provision for disabled supporters at Old Trafford, the club has been working closely with the Manchester United Disabled Supporters’ Association (MUDSA) to discuss feedback received on the original plans. As a result the new wheelchair user platforms and amenity seating areas across the four locations will take the place of the three remaining platforms built in 2017 that have not been rolled out.
The Ticket Office is in the process of notifying the small number of supporters with seats affected by these revised plans, and expects all Season Ticket holders to be accommodated in comparable seating.
Manchester United’s Group Managing Director, Richard Arnold, commented:
“Since the construction of new accessible facilities in 2017, we have worked closely with MUDSA to further improve the provision for disabled supporters at Old Trafford. Our revised plans address the overwhelming majority of feedback we received from supporters and key stakeholders. I would like to thank MUDSA for all of their hard work and effort in helping us to reach this point; we are proud to maintain such a strong and positive relationship with them.
Revised Accessibility Plans – Q&A
When will the new facilities be available?
Construction will commence in the summer (during the close season), with the longest lead time being the installation of high capacity lifts that will service a number of the new facilities.
We will then need to test each of the facilities throughout the 2019/20 season, and as soon as each facility is approved from a safety perspective, we will be able to ‘roll-out’ its immediate and permanent use.
Will all disabled supporters in East Stand still be able to use the Ability Suite?
Yes, because the revised plans do not extend the current East Stand facilities, we have authorised that all supporters using entrances AE1 or AE2 will be able to access the Ability Suite.
Supporters will still need to enter / exit the stadium via their dedicated entrance, but will be able to access the suite from the wheelchair platform in the South East Quadrant.
This change was implemented from the Crystal Palace fixture on 24th November 2018.
I am a non-disabled Season Ticket holder who was originally told I need to relocate, can I move back?
Supporters previously relocated from an area that is no longer affected by the revised plans, including those who voluntarily moved from East Stand early (i.e. ahead of being required to move in the season 2020/21), will not be offered the opportunity to move back to their original area.
This is because we need to test all new areas within the revised plans before they can be permanently introduced.
It is only after this process is complete, that we will consult regarding the best course of action.
Why did you not put these plans in place in 2017?
Originally, in order to comply with the Premier League ‘pledge’, the club had to construct new facilities ahead of the 2017/18 season, meaning that the club was time-bound and therefore limited in terms of practical options (e.g. there was no immediate solution in the Stretford End).
We have listened to feedback in relation to the original plans (such as choice, safety and customer experience concerns, loss of cheaper seats, etc.), and the revised plans address these issues.
As well as creating a safer environment, the new facilities will offer a much greater choice of vantage points around the stadium, at different levels and various prices, and we thank MUDSA for all of their hard work and effort in helping us to reach this point.
These plans still ensure that we comply with guidance that indicates a stadium with a capacity of around 74,000 should have 278 wheelchair positions and 278 amenity seats.
Will there be additional Ability Suites constructed?
The facilities in the Stretford End Tier 2, and behind the away section, will have dedicated accessible concourses for the sole use of disabled supporters.
Facilities in the Streford End Tier 1 and North West Quadrant Tier 2 will have dedicated accessible facilities (e.g. lift access and accessible toilets), but given the restricted space available will receive in-seat service for food and beverages.
We will continue to work with MUDSA to ensure the new facilities are the best they can be for disabled supporters.
How will the club decide which disabled supporters get to sit where?
We haven’t finalised our plans for populating these new facilities, however we will work closely with MUDSA over the course of the 2019/20 season (whilst testing is being undertaken), to determine the methodology applied to ticket allocations.
Until this process is determined we will not be able accept any requests to e.g. relocate existing Season Tickets into new areas.
What determined the location of the new facilities?
To ensure we offer choice via a greater range of vantage points for disabled spectators, dispersed throughout the stadium to provide a variety of locations at different levels, as per recommended guidelines.
We know that many supporters prefer a higher vantage point as it offers a better view of the entire pitch (however, for those who prefer to be lower down, around two thirds of capacity will be in the first tier).
It is recommended that designated areas for disabled supporters are provided in the away section.