Members of the Everton Disabled Supporters Association (EDSA) have been given a tour of the new accessible viewing platform ahead of Everton’s first Premier League game of the season at Goodison Park.
Works to the Sir Philip Carter Park Stand have been taking place since March and have increased the provision and quality of accessible viewing positions for supporters.
EDSA members got a sneak preview of the facilities and gained an understanding of the scale of the building work required to provide some of the best elevated views in the Premier League. The new facilities will be in use for the first time in the Blues’ opening home league fixture against Southampton on Saturday.
Access to the new elevated viewing platform is through the two new towers located either side of the reception, which sits in the middle of the Sir Philip Carter Park Stand. Each tower will house two 17-person lifts with adjacent emergency staircases. The platform offers 45 wheelchair positions as well as space for companion seating and will be serviced by two concession kiosks, four accessible toilets and two companion toilets.
The works round off two years of a phased development programme aimed at improving accessibility for disabled fans. Two new elevated viewing platforms were developed within the Main Stand, along with additional accessible seating in the Howard Kendall Gwladys Street (Lower) Stand last season.
This was supported by new accessible toilets, including a ‘Changing Places’ facility, new refreshment bars with low counters and a lowered ticketing window at the Everton Box Office. The completion of the current project is the second phase of the Club’s commitment to work towards meeting the regulations set out by the Premier League and the Accessibility Stadia Guidance (ASG).
Jan Syme, committee member of EDSA said: “EDSA have worked alongside the Club to campaign and deliver better seating for our disabled supporters. Goodison Park is home to all Evertonians and these changes will help many more of our loyal disabled supporters attend matches.
“The new facilities are just incredible, more than any of us at EDSA were expecting. The views offered by the new platform are fantastic and a must-see for disabled supporters who want to watch the match with an elevated view from behind the goal.
“Everton have been very supportive of our views and understanding of the challenges disabled supporters face at stadiums up and down the country. The new facilities will greatly improve the matchday experience, not only for our members but also disabled home and away supporters.”
Rachael Lomax, Everton’s Disability Liaison Officer, said: “Evertonians are at the heart of the Club and efforts to improve facilities and experiences for all fans, including disabled supporters, have been made year on year.
“We’ve been delighted with the feedback supporters have given us on the new facilities. In consultations with our disabled supporters over the years they have made clear their interest and desire for elevated views around Goodison Park. The Grand Old Lady is one of the oldest stadiums in the country and the works had posed a unique challenge in relation to meeting the ASG regulations and we feel have provided a unique solution in the Sir Philip Carter Park Stand.”
Supporters who attended the pre-season friendly fixture with Valencia will have noticed the change the towers make to the external view of the Sir Philip Carter Park Stand. There have been no changes to access to the turnstiles for supporters seated in the stand on matchdays and no Season Ticket Members have been displaced in order to accommodate the platform, which sits at the rear of the stand.
Tickets for home fixtures are available for disabled supporters in the Sir Philip Carter Park Stand and can be obtained by contacting Everton’s Disability Ticketing Liaison Officer, Brendan Connolly, by telephone on 0151 530 5396 or by email at Brendan.Connolly@evertonfc.com. Alternatively, supporters can visit the ticket office at Goodison Park in person.