With the Cricket World Cup looming, Seddon Park and Northern Districts Cricket are making good steps towards managing disabled patrons.
The newly built disabled area is good, though its location was a source of some concern last year after the disability viewing section was moved from the small area on the grass embankment near gate B, to down directly in front of the food stalls and next to the bar.
Much of the concern amongst patrons this blog talked to last January was due to the incident involving a drunk spectator.
The incident occurred when a the spectator verbally abused a disabled patron after the elderly gentleman asked the man to not stand directly in front of him, because it was making his view of the game seriously impaired.
During the winter Seddon Park has undergone a serious overhaul, and the disability section is included in that.
While it was a surprise to many this Monday that it is still in the same location, the section has been redone to include 3 different level platforms allowing for wheelchair bound patrons to watch the action.
A concrete path allows access to the platform viewing area via the left side, but where wheelchair bound patrons actually go is grass, and very newly laid grass at that. The angle that the grass takes from the concrete path isn’t exactly ideal, especially at the top level, and with the newly laid grass, ground isn’t very stable for wheelchairs either.
But with that said, the section is certainly a good step in the right direction.
While the idea of being directly in front of the food area is very smart, some disabled be may have an issue with the sections location.
Having a disabled section directly next to the bar is an issue.
Some patrons may become quite intoxicated after a long days drinking, having the disabled section right next to the bar is a very poor decision that could potentially harm some disabled patrons in the eyes of some in the disability sector. The incident back in January was as a result of an intoxicated patron, and while security did fix the situation by ejecting the man involved, it did put a rather sour old feeling for the rest of the day for the elderly gentleman who had been abused.
From a locational standpoint, it is hard for Northern Districts Cricket and event management to place it anywhere else. With the Cricket World Cup, it is likely the entire grass embankment outside gate B will be all for corporate hospitality.
Although some may scoff at the suggestion, some people that this blog talked to believe that one of the best places for this disabled section is out in front of the main pavilion, directly next to the players area out on the little grass area.
But that is not to say ND Cricket and event management shouldn’t be praised for seriously improving what was on offer earlier in the year.
It is an improvement without a doubt.
While the new design of the disabled viewing area is good, and has all the hallmarks of something better in the future, the biggest change that needs to be made is to concrete the whole thing. If this can be done, it will be brilliant.
Keep the levels 1,2,3 like they are, and add concrete. Make gate 3 a gate only for disabled entry, and have parking just outside gate 3 on the street.
If Seddon Park can tick these boxes, they will have a winner.
This blog will attempt to try and further investigate the newly built disability viewing area this weekend during the Georgie Pie Super Smash Festival.