Quiet Zones, Exceptional Concession Stands, and Staff Training
Make Kauffman Stadium a More Inclusive Environment
– The Kansas City Royals join Major League Baseball in raising awareness for autism by hosting Autism Awareness Night tomorrow when the Club hosts the Los Angeles Angels. Throughout the evening, the Royals will highlight initiatives at the stadium to provide a more inclusive environment, including Quiet Zones and Exceptional Concession Stands.
Eight Quiet Zones have been designated throughout the stadium in areas that are generally quieter than others to allow guests to have a break from overstimulation and sensory overload. Signs have been posted in each of these zones to encourage guests to be courteous of those in the area. Two of these areas are located in the elevator lobbies of each Dugout Concourse and have tables and chairs for use by fans.
Exceptional Concession Stands were introduced last year to encourage those who are on the spectrum or have other disabilities to develop social skills in making a transaction. More were added this year and are located in the First and Third Base Dugout Concourses and on the Lexus Level in Sections 308, 313 and 323. Also new this year are visual menus that can be used by those who are non-verbal. Staff in these designated concession stands have been trained on the best ways to interact with each guest.
Throwing out the honorary First Pitch Friday will be Matthew Breedlove. Matthew is an artist and, at his first solo art show, sold more than 30 paintings. He donates a portion of the proceeds to help others with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Matthew is inspired by his love of color and his desire to make people happy through his art. Other elements of the pregame Friday will also bring awareness to autism. The Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat will honor Britton Howell, Justin Peery will yell “Play Ball!” before the game starts and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” will be sung by Thad Livingston. Several displays, including a “sensory tent,” will have information and activities available in the Outfield Experience across from the Royals Hall of Fame. All game-day Royals staff have been trained in Autism Awareness and all new-hires were trained during this past offseason.
On Sundays following Royals home games, kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder or other special needs will be able to get a Fun Run Sensory Pass. This pass will allow children who are unable to wait for long periods of time go to the front of the line for the Fun Run. Throughout the season, fans can pick up the Fun Run Sensory passes and check out noise-reducing headphones and weighted lap pads from the Guest Services offices on the Plaza and View Level.
Members of the media may contact the Royals Publicity Department at (816) 921-8000.