Exploring the accessibility of sport stadia for people with disability: Towards the development of a Stadium Accessibility Scale (SAS)

P J Kitchin, Juan Luis Paramio-Salcines, Simon Darcy, Geoff Walters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
491 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: The aim of this paper is to synthesise existing literature on sports stadia, spectators with disabilities (SwD) and accessibility to identify themes and to highlight the gaps in the literature. This review subsequently develops two propositions that will enable research in this emerging area to further develop. Design/methodology/approach: The research was guided by two research questions: First, what does the peer reviewed evidence tell us about SwD and the accessibility of sporting stadia?; Second, how can this information be used to develop a Stadium Accessibility Scale (SAS)? The authors conducted a rapid review of the literature across three databases that identified 34 papers for synthesis. Findings: The synthesis revealed three research themes: a focus on legislative compliance, the need to enhance resources (both physical and human) and research that focusses on moving beyond the stadium experience. The latter can be subdivided into two streams – studies that look at accessibility as a social legacy of major events and studies that seek to understand the whole journey that SwD's must make to attend sport events. Research limitations/implications: The study makes two key recommendations. The first is to encourage further research aligned to the HOPES framework (Paramio-Salcines et al., 2016) that explicitly recognises the importance of understanding the broader approach to the customer experience. The second is the need for the development and validation of a reliable SAS. Originality/value: Greater accessibility provides a foundation for inclusive environments in sport. The findings are relevant for all stakeholders in sport as universal accessibility benefits more than people with disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-116
Number of pages24
JournalSport, Business, Management: An International Journal
Issue number1
Early online date21 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 25 Feb 2022
EventEURAM 2020 Online conference: The business of now: The future starts here. - Online supported by Trinity University Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 4 Dec 20206 Dec 2020
Conference number: 20

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Accessibility
  • Disability
  • Social model of disability
  • Inclusion
  • Sport Stadia
  • Stadium Accessibility Scale


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