Accessible Seating Maps for Football (Soccer) Stadia

  • Subject:Accessible Seating Maps for Football (Soccer) Stadia
  • Type:B.Sc./M.Sc.
  • Supervisor:

    Strobel

  • German or English language

Motivation

Spectating sporting events or concerts may come with additional challenges for disabled or neurodiverse people. Non-disabled people can typically buy their tickets online by selecting their preferred seats from a plan of the stadium while disabled people may need more context information on their seats. This may be the distance to the next accessible restroom, the existence of stairs on the path to the seat, how loud it can get, or even how large the seat is. In this thesis, together with the target group, we want to find out how these needs are implemented in interactive seat plans as well as how they can be improved.

Proposed solution

The proposed solution to this problem can be two-fold and depends on the type of thesis. First, the student will
gather requirements with disabled people and/or other stakeholders via a survey or interviews to explore accessibility issues in the ticket purchasing
process. Second, and based on the findings from the first part, with  the target group, the student will
co-design an accessible seating map for a sport stadium. This thesis is not situated only in the field of Computer Science and does not require programming skills. Instead, eligible students should have a strong interest in user studies and accessibility.

Possible Tasks

  1. Related Work
    In preparation of the second step and third, it is required to acquire a basic understanding of accessibility in the context of sporting venues and web interfaces.
     
  2. Survey
    In this step, the student creates a survey that aims to get broader insights into the barriers that disabled people face in the ticket ordering process
     
  3. Interviews
    Students may also engage in interviews with different stakeholders once the target group is further known. The interviews may detail on personal lived experiences and provide a deeper understanding of certain cases.
     
  4. Focus Groups
    Like interviews, focus groups would provide a deeper understanding of the target group's barriers. Compared to interviews, there are advantages and disadvantages of this approach. Group discussion may inspire discussion among the stakeholders but can neglect individual experiences.
     
  5. Design Workshops
    Additionally, design workshops together with the stakeholders (and especially the target group) can transfer power to the target group. This method may be applied in sessions that. involve rapid prototyping or possible more advanced Figma prototypes.
     
  6. Discussion
    The thesis concludes with a discussion on the challenges and opportunities of implementing these accessibility requirements possibly subsequent to a small user or expert evaluation of the prototype.

Research outcome

This work should contribute to the growing body of accessibility research in HCI and sport. If the student is interested, they can engage together with the advisor/supervisor in submitting the thesis as part of a paper to appropriate publication outlets.

Required skills

As this is explorative qualitative research together with the target group, programming skills, e.g., for implementing a tool, are not required. Instead, students should be interested in user studies and motivated to engage with the target group. Further, despite a strong interest in the topic, no background in HCI or accessibility is required.

References

  • Dickson, T. J., Darcy, S., Johns, R., & Pentifallo, C. (2016). Inclusive by design: Transformative services and sport-event accessibility. The Service Industries Journal, 36(11–12), 532–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/02642069.2016.1255728

  • Kitchin, P. J., Paramio-Salcines, J. L., Darcy, S., & Walters, G. (2022). Exploring the accessibility of sport stadia for people with disability: Towards the development of a Stadium Accessibility Scale (SAS). Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, 12(1), 93–116. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBM-05-2021-0064

  • Paramio-Salcines, J. L., Downs, P., & Grady, J. (2016). Football and its communities: The celebration of Manchester United FC’s Ability Suite. Soccer & Society, 17(5), 770–791. https://doi.org/10.1080/14660970.2015.1100435

  • Yazigi, S., Resende, A. E., & Yazigi, R. (2015). Accessibility in Soccer Stadiums: Infrastructure and Organization in Support of People with Reduced Mobility – A Use Analysis. Procedia Manufacturing, 3, 5557–5561. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.promfg.2015.07.731

Contact

If you are interested in this thesis, please send your CV, a transcript of records, and a short statement about your motivation to Lukas Strobel, lukas strobel∂kit edu.