A Systems Approach to Improving the Spectator Experience at Collegiate Football Games; A Slow Victory: How the Disability Community Is Fighting for an Accessible Stadium Experience

Austin, Haley, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Riggs, Robert, EN-SIE, University of Virginia
Norton, Peter, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

At athletics events, spectators need efficient game day procedures, comfortable arenas, and seamless integration of technology into game day. Managing thousands of fans requires well engineered systems and a robust understanding of diverse fans. Following a recent decline in attendance at football games, the University of Virginia (UVA) has sought ways to improve the spectator experience to boost team morale and revenues. To recommend improvements to traffic efficiency before games, the research team gathered data through interviews with the University Police Department (UPD) and game day observations. The primary recommendation is new signage to prevent confusion and to guide spectators navigating the stadium. The UVA Athletics Department will have full discretion in implementing this recommendation. Sporting events must accommodate diverse audiences, including fans who have disabilities. Legal protections set a minimum standard, but disability rights advocates promote greater accessibility to physical and digital experiences at sporting events. Advocacies lobby for legislation, litigate, and demand more inclusive venue design. Such advocacy indicates that regulations, though necessary, have been insufficient to ensure equitable access to sports events.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
systems approach, process improvement, transportation, traffic analysis

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering
Technical Advisor: Robert Riggs
STS Advisor: Peter Norton
Technical Team Members: Abigail Freed, Alexandra Labus, Brendan Lynch, Joseph Mastrullo, Julia Sharff

All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
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