New Partnership Ensures Better Access For Football Fans
A partnership spearheaded by Derby-based Nimbus Disability has enabled disabled football fans to benefit from easier access to tickets thanks to a pioneering partnership.
Sports venue ticketing platform Alloc8 has teamed up with Nimbus Disability to incorporate the award-winning bespoke Access Card software into its own ticketing system which is being operated for the first time at Tranmere Rovers FC.
The integrated platform will enable disabled fans to register their requirements and book online season tickets, tickets for home and away fixtures, coach travel and parking quickly and easily - breaking down the barriers they face to enjoying live football.
Fans who also sign up for Nimbus’ Access Card will be able to join the 100,000 disabled people across the UK who benefit from easier ticket bookings at major venues across the UK and beyond including West End theatres, Buckingham Palace, Disneyland Paris, and The O2 Arena.
Nimbus Disability, based in Derby, is a social enterprise company run by disabled people for disabled people which is recognised as a lead authority on accessible ticketing in the UK.
Nimbus’ Access Card was recognised with a Ticketing Business Award in 2021 and, more recently, The Queen’s Award for Innovation.
Powered by NOS, Nimbus Disability’s bespoke software, The Access Card system translates its holder’s disability/impairment/access requirements into symbols highlighting the barriers they face.
Then, when cardholders book tickets online, NOS automatically informs the ticket booking system about the access requirements that individuals need.
This has vastly improved access for disabled people who previously had to provide benefit entitlement letters or invasive amounts of personal information each time they booked tickets for festivals, cinemas, theatres and more.
The move was welcomed by Philip Downs MBE who, for the past 30 years has been at the forefront of promoting equal access to sport for disabled people.
He was the founder of MUDSA (Manchester United Disabled Supporters Association), the first of its kind and most successful in the world.
Nationally recognised, Phil was also co‐founder of the National Association of Disabled Supporters (now Level Playing Field) and is now a founder member of Estadio Accesible – helping Spanish clubs to achieve full accessibility for their fans with disabilities.
He said: “This partnership has the potential to be a game changer nationally and internationally for both disabled people and for sports clubs.
“The Access Card creates a level playing field for disabled fans and makes the whole process of booking accessible tickets far less time consuming and arduous for football clubs’ disability liaison officers.
“I congratulate everyone involved in this forward-thinking move and for their commitment to bring the loose ends together so that disabled people can enjoy life as much as everyone else.”
Martin Austin MBE is managing director of Nimbus Disability. He added: “The Access Card is all about providing consistency for disabled people – whether that is going to a football match, theatre or local coffee shop.
“As disabled people ourselves, our mission is to provide a universal, digitised way of communicating all verified access requirements, from eligibility for companion tickets to the necessity for wheelchair-accessible seating provision.
“Our system enables each access requirement flagged to be integrated directly into ticketing systems to remove the need to continually call ‘special’ booking lines’ and fill in ‘special’ booking forms or answer personal and invasive questions over the phone.
“Ultimately our operating system lessens the administrative burden on disabled people at the same time as opening up equality of access to online ticketing solutions from West End theatres to theme parks.”
For more information about registering for The Access Card please visit https://www.accesscard.online/ or for businesses interested in how the Nimbus Operating System can streamline CRM processes, visit https://www.nimbusdisability.com/nimbus-operation-system/