The number of G supporters from KAA Gent has increased more than tenfold since moving to the Ghelamco Arena. At top matches we have 250 Buffalos with a disability or with limited mobility in the stadium. 10 years of working on accessibility is paying off. And yet there is still a lot of work to be done.
In recent years, KAA Gent has focused strongly on inclusion and accessibility: every KAA Ghent supporters must be able to attend competitions in the Ghelamco Arena. It is an assignment that the KAA Gent Foundation takes to heart, in close cooperation with all services involved in the match organization in the stadium.
We shouldn't bother: despite the recent investments in many Belgian football stadiums, accessibility for supporters with a disability remains a point of contention. Football supporters with limited mobility often (also literally) remain out in the cold, even if they go to a club with a newly built grandstand.
When the Ghelamco Arena was designed, old rules and accessibility conditions applied. Nevertheless, the various partners have made every effort to make the stadium as accessible as possible during the finishing. Much good will, some important technical interventions and clear agreements have paid off since: KAA Gent never had more supporters with a disability or with limited mobility than today. And new requests are added every week.
Everyone likes to come to the Ghelamco Arena to enjoy top football in a vibrant atmosphere. It goes without saying that everyone really deserves a good and comfortable racing experience. That is why we offer customized help, adapted infrastructure and clear communication.
In the Ghelamco Arena, adapted toilets, lowered arches, places with more legroom, lifts, wheelchair platforms, stairs with contrasting stair noses and studded tiles provide more comfort. For fans with a visual impairment, there is audio description: commentators describe what is happening from the press stand. The signal can be received throughout the stadium with earphones that you can reserve with the KAA Gent Foundation.
Since 2018, there have also been indoor wheelchair spaces above sections 222 and 428. The six places above the Telenet stand can be reserved by groups of up to six wheelchair users (with accompanying person). For example, we give supporters from residential care centers or rehabilitation centers the opportunity to attend a competition together.
We deploy at least 6 assistance stewards in every competition: INTER volunteers, the organization that makes events accessible to everyone. They are recognizable by their white jackets. Meeting point: entrance C.
There, supporters with limited mobility can take the lift to the promenade. You can also contact the white jackets with all your questions about accessibility or assistance. Stewards, attendants and staff from the emergency and security services work with them every game on a stadium accessible to everyone.
The INTER assistance stewards are deployed by the KAA Gent Foundation. In our country, our community activities play a pioneering role in the fight for accessible football stadiums. KAA Gent participates in INSIDE, the national platform for supporters with disabilities. This platform wants to encourage the Belgian professional clubs through dialogue to improve accessibility. Unfortunately, this remains urgently needed. On Friday December 13, INSIDE gathered in the Ghelamco Arena for a new round of consultations.
With the introduction of the DAO, UEFA responded to a request from CAFE, the Center for Access to Football in Europe . This international organization not only defends the interests of football supporters with a disability, all DAOs can also go there with questions or for advice.
In recent days, the DAOs gathered in Leipzig, Germany, to exchange information and formulate recommendations to our governments, our national leagues and to UEFA. We agree on one thing: legislation deserves enforcement, recommendations deserve imperative character. Unfortunately, accessibility to football stadiums is not an acquired right today, but too often a matter of good will and commitment from a few clubs. Despite all #equalgame campaigns.
For all questions, comments or suggestions about the accessibility of KAA Gent matches for supporters with a disability or supporters with limited mobility, you can contact the KAA Gent Foundation attn DAO KAA Gent: firstname.lastname@example.org or through the secretariat of the KAA Gent Foundation, available on working days in the morning: 09 330 23 34
- Information about the accessibility of the Ghelamco Arena on competition days (PDF file).
- Info for away fans about access to the Ghelamco Arena one gamedays (pdf file)
The KAA Gent Foundation is supported by