Welcome to The Hawthorns, the home of West Bromwich Albion Football Club, we are looking forward to sharing our facilities with you and helping you to enjoy the matchday experience. We are proud of our inclusive, diverse fan base and we are committed to providing class-leading services and facilities to all disabled supporters in and around all of our premises.
The information contained within this statement is not intended to be exhaustive and should you have any queries or concerns while visiting then please feel free to raise your concerns with any member of staff immediately, scroll down to the Contact Us section for the relevant contacts.
So whatever the result on the pitch we hope you have a great day with us at West Bromwich Albion!
The football club meets the requirements of the Accessible Stadia Guide. The club constantly reviews all current arrangements and monitors future best practice developments via the Club appointed Disability Access Officer, Chris Harris. You can find out how to contact Chris in the "Contact Us" section.
We have undertaken a programme of bespoke training / refresher training staff and match day stewards on Disability Awareness. We also have an online training module available in place for all staff.
There have been significant improvements:
- An increased number of Disability Viewing Areas in the Smethwick End and the West Stand for away supporters.
- A new Accessible Entrance and Concourse located at the Birmingham Road / West Stand corner, plus 2 new accessible toilets and a new Accessible Toilet for away supporters behind the Smethwick End.
- New dedicated Ambulant Supporter toilet facilities have been added in all 4 stands.
- A redeveloped Disability Entrance and Reception Area in the Smethwick End / West Stand Corner that includes a new Sensory Room, additional accessible toilets, a changing places toilet and dedicated disabled supporter concourse facilities.
- A number of specially commissioned raised seats located behind some of the wheelchair spaces in the East Stand.
We are especially looking forward to continually engaging with all Disabled Supporters, listening to your views and to meeting with the WBA Disabled Supporters Club.
A comprehensive matchday travel plan is in place which results in a single lane of the A41 directly outside of the stadium and Halfords Lane being closed off to all traffic 95 minutes prior to kick-off. These closures remain in place for up to one hour after final whistle.
Albion Matchday Parking
- Numerous car parks are available around the stadium, of which many are operated by private businesses and may not always be suitable for wheelchair access etc.
- Within close proximity are East End Foods (Birmingham Road), ECP (adjacent to The East Stand) and former Pipe Centre (Adjacent to McDonalds).
- Disabled supporters who have tickets for the East Stand Executive Suites and are Blue Badge holders can also park on the main car park – restricted numbers so please contact the club in advance.
- Away fans are encouraged to park on the east side of the stadium adjacent to Middlemore Road to ensure a smooth exit following the fixture.
- Parking here would also mean approximately a 10 minute walk along Halfords Lane to the designated Disabled Access entrance on the corner of the West Stand and the Birmingham Road End. Designated Stewards at this entrance will assist supporters with access.
- There are a number of privately operated car parks in close proximity to the stadium but WBAFC has no responsibilities for their operation and or opening / closing times
- The stadium is served by the number 74 bus operated by Network West Midlands. The buses run every 10 minutes with a journey time of approximately 24 minutes to Birmingham City Centre
- The 74 bus service operates between Birmingham City Centre and Dudley, with calling points at Handsworth, West Bromwich and Great Bridge as well as on the Birmingham Road, directly outside The Hawthorns.
- The buses operated by Network West Midlands are all low floor vehicles (this means they can be lowered to pavement level when the bus stops and the door opens) and each bus has a minimum of one dedicated wheelchair space as well as clearly marked priority seats with space underneath for an assistance dog.
- The bus floor is non-slip and there are colour-contrasting handrails on the side of each door, with horizontal handrails in the gangway areas.
- A dedicated wheelchair space is normally located on the right hand side of the bus. To travel safely, you’ll have to reverse into the space with the back of your wheelchair against the backrest. The wheelchair brakes will have to be applied too, as no additional restraint system is available. There’s a horizontal handrail on the right hand side of the space, with a vertical handrail on the left side. When the bus approaches your stop, you can press the bell push button located on the handrail which alerts the driver that you want to get off. There will be a sound and a sign will illuminate to indicate that the bus is stopping. The bus will pull into the kerb and the driver will put out the access ramp.
Fans are reminded that buses can get very busy on matchdays.
Further information can be found on the National Express West Midlands website, then select Journey Planner to find out exactly which buses can get you from home to the match - http://nxbus.co.uk
- Every tram has been designed to enable easy access and there is level access between the tram and the platform edge. The trams have bright, colour-contrasting doors and handrails, priority seats for disabled people and people with mobility difficulties, two spaces for wheelchair users, next stop visual information and audio announcements. A customer service representative is always on board so please approach them if you need help.
- If you’re a wheelchair user, you’ll be able to travel on public transport provided your wheelchair conforms to International Standard ISO 7193 (maximum length 1200mm and width 700mm). Trains used by London Midland only allow wheelchairs with the footrests folded to be carried, provided they fall within the dimensions of 1000mm length and 700mm width.
- New automatic audio announcement systems and electronic information screens have been installed at all stations, and they provide audible and visual information about the next train to arrive.
- Trains have push-button-operated powered sliding doors, flat wide entrances, good internal lighting and handy grab rails. The floor areas near the doors have a colour-contrasted finish together with door opening and closing buttons that have colour-contrast surrounds, and tactile and Braille text.
The Tram & Train Station (The Hawthorns) is less than half a mile away from the Stadium.
For more information on Train and Metro services visit www.nationalrail.co.uk
The nearest station is The Hawthorns which is situated less than half a mile away (5 minutes walk) from the stadium.
This station is served by trains from Worcester Foregate Street / Kidderminster and Dorridge / Stratford-upon- Avon (via Birmingham Moor St and Birmingham Snow Hill).
Meanwhile the station is served by Midland Metro services from Birmingham New St and Wolverhampton St. George’s.
The Hawthorns station details:
- Staff available for assistance
- Ramp for train access
- Step free access
- Ramp free access
- Wheelchairs not available
- Induction loop
- No ATM Machine
- Ticket machine [no accessible ticket machines]
- Pay phones (cards and coins) [accessible phones are not available]
- No toilets
- No waiting rooms
- 182 car parking spaces including 12 accessible spaces
- Taxis – Cedar 0121 555 7888, Bearwood 0121 420 1111 [accessible taxis are not available]
- Mobility set down/pick up points – not available
Helpline contact is 0800 092 4260
- The footpath to the entrance from Hill St has steps, though there is level access from the drop off point.
- All platforms have lifts and escalators, except platform 1 which has a lift and stairs only.
- All entrances have automatic doors. Induction loops
- Loops connected to the public address system have been built in to the concourse and the platforms.
Blind & Partially Sighted
- There are large print signs at all entrances and a tactile map opposite the reception inside the Hill St entrance. A braille map and copies of the audio guide and the station map and guide are available from reception.
- There are Station Audio Guides and the floor is textured at exits and walls / floors and windows / glass doors are easily to tell apart, following advice from the RNIB.
- There is an accessible window with a low counter open all station hours.
- How to request assistance - You can get help with getting around the station and on and off the train by calling your train company, ideally 24 hours in advance.
- You can arrange help on the day at the reception (by the Hill St entrance) or by calling 0121 576 2706. If you haven’t booked you may have to wait, but their policy is to help everyone. Help is available throughout station opening hours.
- All toilets are beyond the ticket barrier.
- Women: between the escalators to platforms 5a-6a and 11b-12b. Free, Radar key required or ask attendant.
- Men: between the escalators to platforms 11b-12b. Free, Radar key required or ask attendant.
- Assistance staff has access to wheelchairs for use around the station. Waiting areas
- The two lounges beyond the ticket barrier have dedicated areas for wheelchairs. All platforms have waiting areas for wheelchair users next to the departure / arrival screens with seating for companions.
Getting to and from the station
- Bus - There are nearby bus stops on Smallbrook Queensway (use the walkway off Stephenson St) and Hill St. Most buses are wheelchair accessible. For more about accessible bus travel across the city visit Centro or call them on 0121 200 2700.
- Car - The accessible pick up / set down point is just off Hill St. Sat nav postcode B5 4AH.
- Short stay parking: Off Hill St, there are no designated Blue Badge spaces. There are 4 spaces outside the Hill St entrance, there is no charge.
- Long stay parking: For nearby car parks see parking at New Street Station.
- Taxi - The taxi rank is on Navigation St (step free from station). The drop-off point is just outside the entrance off Hill St. There is level access from here to the to the station. Most taxis can accommodate a manual wheelchair.
There are generally 2 members of staff on duty.
- The station is staffed.
- There is an office to obtain help.
- The office to obtain help is 7m (22ft 12in) from the main entrance.
- The station is not staffed between 23:50-06:00.
- There is level access into the Station.
- The main entrance opens (no doors).
- The entrance opening is 500cm (16ft 5in) wide.
- Motorised scooters are allowed in public parts of the venue.
- All key concourse shops and services have level access.
- There are 5 platforms in the station. Step-free access and lighting
- The reception desk is 4m (13ft 1in) from the main entrance.
- There is level access to reception from the entrance.
- The reception desk is medium height.
- The desk has a lowered section.
- Lighting levels are medium. Induction loops
- There is a hearing assistance system.
- The type of system is a fixed loop.
- Staff are trained to use system.
Blind & Partially Sighted
- Announcements on platforms are audio and visual.
- Wider ticket barriers are available to access platforms.
- Platforms which have tactile markings at the platform edge are 1-5.
- There is an accessible window with a low counter open all station hours.
- Documents can be requested in Braille.
- Documents can be requested in large print.
- A member of staff trained in BSL skills is not generally on duty.
- At the current time of writing staff are not Text Relay aware.
- Accessible toilets are located on the platform(s).
- Accessible toilets are located on platform(s) 1 and 3.
- Accessible toilets are not located on the main station concourse.
- Accessible toilets are 34m (37yd) from the main entrance. Wheelchairs
- Assistance staff has access to a wheelchair for use around the station.
Getting to and from the station
- Bus - There are nearby bus stops adjacent to the station. For more about accessible bus travel across the city visit Centro or call them on 0121 200 2700.
- Car – There is a car park for public use within 200m (approx).
- The name of the car park is Birmingham Snow Hill Car Park.
- The car park is located above the venue.
- Taxi - There is a taxi rank located 49 metres from the front main entrance
The key contact for our fans with disabilities who require specific matchday ticket information is:
Liz Massey, Disability Liaison Officer
Tel: Ticket Office 0121 227 2227
The main ticket office is located in the East Stand; it is on the level and accessible via two sets of double manual doors (very slight threshold of less than 3cm). Once inside the floor is level and spacious.
The Ticket Office entrance and exit are fitted with powered automatic doors to allow ease of access.
There is a low level counter for easy communications and staff trained in customer service to fans that have disabilities.
For some matches the Club also opens Ticket Kiosks located on the East Stand Car Park but this would be advertised in advance.
The requirements to purchase a disabled ticket are:
- Receipt of the middle or higher rate of the Disability Living Allowance (mobility or care component) (ideally a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions)
- Receipt of the standard or enhanced rate of daily living component of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Receipt of the enhanced rate of the mobility component of the Personal Independence Payment
- Receipt of the middle or higher rate of either the Severe Disablement Allowance, the Employment and Support Allowance or the Attendance Allowance (ideally a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions)
- A specialist personal letter from your GP to confirm the nature and details of your relevant disability and to confirm that you are in receipt of support services and the details of such support services
- A BD8 Certificate (blind & partially sighted supporters only).
Currently we offer discounted prices on a seasonal basis* which include a free personal assistant,
Match tickets are discounted and also include a free personal assistant, for wheelchair & ambulant supporters.
Supporting Albion at Home Matches
Supporters with disabilities can purchase match tickets online here at wbatickets.co.uk or by contacting the Ticket Office on 0121 227 2227.
Supporting Albion at Away Matches
Supporters with disabilities will be required to fill in an application form over the phone or in person at The Hawthorns East Stand ticket office for each game.
We will endeavour to provide a coach that has wheelchair access where possible.
As there is limited availability for away matches, tickets may be allocated on a loyalty point basis. Supporters will be informed if they have been successful with their ticket application.
Whilst your own travel arrangements need to be booked via your own Club we would encourage you to contact us should you have any specific requirements i.e. guide dogs / assistance dogs drinking bowls etc.
If you have any queries please contact
Disability Liaison Officer
Tel: Ticket Office 0121 227 2227
Disabled Away Supporters arriving by Coach
Generally Away coaches are instructed to park at a designated area on Middlemore Road; however this does leave disabled supporters negotiating a relatively steep ramp access up to the away end of the stadium.
If organisers contact the Club in advance then arrangements can be made with the West Midlands Police that allows for drivers to use designated drop-off / pick-up points for their Disabled Supporters.
This is directly outside the Disabled Supporters Access entrance on the corner of the West Stand and Smethwick End.
Please contact either:
Steve Poppitt, Match Day Operations Manager
0871 2719823 ext 305 or email email@example.com
Jon Thursfield, Safety & Security
Tel: 0121 5243470 ext 321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information, please contact Albion Disability Access Officer, Chris Harris, email: email@example.com or 0121 524 3470 ext 360.
The Stadium Megastore is located in the East Stand and the shop entrance and exit are fitted with powered automatic doors to allow ease of access and egress. (very slight threshold of less than 3cm).
The doors are manned on match days. Inside it is spacious and level and can easily be navigated. Store staff are happy to assist if required, there is a low counter, good lighting and the tills are outward facing. A changing room is on the level and accessible.
The store is very busy on matchdays but is considerably quieter between 12pm and 2pm typically or a short time after the game has finished.
There is currently no loop system available in the Store or Outlets, however a portable system is available at reception.
An additional Club Store is situated in the Lower Mall, Merry Hill Centre, Brierley Hill DY5 1SY.
The Store is one level and accessed via wide manual double doors with a very slight threshold of less than 3cm.
At Merry Hill Shopping Centre there are Sensory aids. You can find information about their induction loop by visiting the Customer Services desk on the lower mall near Boots and at the Centre Management Suite reception desk on the upper mall.
The Centre has plenty of disabled parking spaces spread right across the shopping centre and with most parking spots within easy reach of the main entrances, just don’t forget to display your valid disabled badge on your windscreen when parking.
- There is also Age UK’s Mobility Centre on the upper mall near BHS.
- Whether you need a powered wheelchair or a mobility scooter, you can visit the Mobility Centre seven days a week.
- All equipment hire at the Age UK Mobility Centre requires proof of ID and proof of address. For further information on the Shopmobility service then please call 01384 267 007.
- The closest car parks to the Shopmobility centre are at the Odeon Cinema and the multi-storey car park at Primark.
You can shop online 24/7 at shop.wba.co.uk with direct delivery options available as well as a free collect-in-store option.
Disabled fans pay entrance fees, but assistants accompanying them are free. However, space is limited so it is important to arrange in advance through the Club. Visit the 'Buying Tickets' section above to find out more
In the East Stand supporters have an excellent elevated position and the personal assistants sit directly behind.
There are two designated access points for Disabled Supporters who have tickets for the Birmingham Road Stand and the Smethwick End, they are clearly signed and have specific trained Stewards to assist supporters (both wheelchair users and ambulant supporters) and their personal assistants.
The front rows of seats in each of the stands at the two ends of the ground (the traditional home and away ends) are reserved for wheelchairs to be located in front, and ramp access.
At either end of the West Stand there are two dedicated areas for wheelchair users utilising ramp access and easy access to a number of accessible toilets and dedicated disabled supporter concourse facilities.
See the map below highlighting the Accessible Entrances at the Stadium
A hearing loop is available in the Ticket Office and a portable system at reception.
Please contact the Disabled Liaison Officer, Liz Massey on 0121 227 2227, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you require this.
The public spaces and pedestrian walkways approaching and surrounding the stadium are very busy on matchdays and in particular the Birmingham Road and Halfords Lane.
The pavements in the wider surrounding areas can be of varying state of repair but pavements in the immediate vicinity of the stadium are generally good consisting of tarmac paths and drop kerbs.
The main Birmingham Road experiences very heavy traffic at all times and even more so on matchdays and care should be taken when crossing. The Club put in traffic management on Birmingham Road from 1:30pm onwards, or 6:30pm for evening kick-offs; consisting of 2 security gates and cones which restrict traffic to one lane only from East to West and towards the Junction for the M5.
The Club Stewards close Halfords Lane to all traffic from 1:30pm until up to 1 hour after the match.
We have a dedicated Memorial Garden located at the far corner of the East Stand Car Park. The garden is where families, friends and visitors can pay respects and leave small memorial items in memory of loved ones. The area is accessible to Disabled Supporters via two small ramps, the pathway is flagged but in good repair at the time of writing.
Supporters with assistance dogs can also use the grassed area to exercise them and we can also provide drinking bowls for dogs … just ask a Steward.
- Accessible toilets are fitted with alarms, 4 are located in the West Stand / Birmingham Road Accessible ramp area (Home supporters)
- 4 are located in the Smethwick End / Birmingham Road Disabled Supporters Designated Concourse Area (Home and Away supporters)
- 1 further accessible toilet dedicated for away fans only (Radar Key) located externally at the back of A Block (accessible with assistance from Stewards or Personal Assistants due to ramp gradient from pitch level wheelchair spaces)
- There are 4 concourse toilets in the East Stand, 2 with radar keys. Plus 1 further toilet on the first floor and 2 on the 2nd floor which are located at either end of the main corridor (on the level) that serves the Executive Boxes and suites.
- There is also a fully equipped Changing Place Toilet located in the Smethwick End / Birmingham Road
Disabled Supporters Designated Concourse Area.
Should you require be seating / locating close to the Changing Places facility then please let the Ticket Office staff know so that we can try and accommodate your request.
All concourse toilet blocks in all stands have a dedicated Ambulant Supporters Toilet facility within and the Gents facilities have additional handrails located at either ends of one urinal run per block.
All accessible toilets are equipped and identified as ‘Stoma Friendly’ to support the Club policy of ‘Not all disabilities are visible’
Should you require us to store your wheelchair for you whilst you watch the match then please let us know so that we can accommodate your request.
There are 5 refreshment kiosks in the East Stand serving a range of drinks and food, all have low counters and staff will be happy to assist (there are also a number of Betting Kiosks in all stands and some have low counters).
The Smethwick End has 2 refreshment kiosks, 1 serves the Away supporters and 1 serves the Home Supporters. Neither of the refreshment kiosks in the Smethwick End are Disability Accessible for wheelchair users independently.
Should Away Disabled Supporters who are wheelchair users wish to access a Kiosk or meet friends or family on the Away fans concourse then Stewards will assist upon request.
Disabled Home Supporters who are wheelchair users in the Smethwick End can access the dedicated refreshment kiosk located within the SME & West Stand Accessible concourse.
Ambulant Supporters will have to navigate stairs but will find a level surface with easy access on the concourse but the concourses are often very busy.
Should ambulant supporters wish to access the Birmingham Road Concourse facilities specifically then they will need to navigate stairs, there is a level surface on the concourse though it is often very busy.
As you enter the Accessible entrances located at the Birmingham Road / West Stand and the West Stand / Smethwick End there are dedicated Concourse areas available for wheelchair using supporters, ambulant supporters and non-disabled supporters. These areas have dedicated refreshment facilities with low counters, refreshment ordering and collection services and TV viewing facilities
Again ambulant Supporters will find they will need to navigate stairs but a level surface with easy access on the concourse but the concourses are often very busy.
The West Stand lower concourse has a further 4 refreshment kiosks but are currently not available to Disabled Supporters who are wheelchair users. Ambulant Supporters will find a limited number of steps to navigate but then a level surface with easy access but as with all the stands the concourses are often very busy.
There are a number of hospitality facilities in the West Stand on the second floor and in the East Stand, hospitality facilities on the first floor and Executive Boxes on the second floor.
The West Stand facilities can accommodate disabled guests and access is via the Executive Area Accessible entrance and on matchday this is staffed by security personnel that will assist you.
There is a lift that will take you to the second floor where it is a level landing that leads through wide double doors to a corridor and onto all of the facilities. Further Security personnel are on duty and will assist with doors and directions to the relevant suite; all flooring is carpeted but the corridor is level and wide enough for wheelchair users.
If you are a guest in one of the Executive Boxes located on the second floor of the East Stand then these can be accessed via 3 lifts from main reception, the middle lift being a ‘talking lift’.
Reception / security staff will be on hand to assist you, the corridors and floors are level and wide enough for wheelchair users.
There are 28 Boxes, access is via a single door but wide enough for wheelchairs, once inside the room is on the level with one further door leading to a balcony with views of the pitch.
On matchdays and with prior notice a number of seats can easily be removed and wheelchair users can enjoy a superb view of the pitch from the balcony. We stress that we would need advance notice to ensure we can accommodate your request. This applies to both the East and West Stands.
Albion's award-winning matchday programme is the essential companion for matchday and is the unquestioned book of record for the Throstles' history.
Albion News includes columns from the Manager and players, regular in depth interviews with the current squad, comprehensive match reports, the lowdown on the opposition and all the stats you need to know.
Word versions of the programmes are available upon request from the club, for those who have visual impairments then this may be of assistance.
Standard issues are on sale around the stadium priced at £3.50 or you can buy online here
The Club broadcasts live in house match commentary for all first team matches within the stadium for visually impaired supporters.
The commentary can be picked up on either the supporters own FM radio or one provided by the Club – the frequency is 106.9 FM (away supporters are reminded that commentary might appear to be WBA biased though always entertaining!)
The safety and welfare of all supporters and guests is our main priority at WBA, all our Security and Stewarding staff are NVQ trained and background checked. Additionally all our Stewards undertake a bespoke ‘Disability Awareness’ training module and key staff have received Dementia Awareness Training.
We have a number of specialist staff members that undertake specific duties such as Disability Liaison, Safety, Fire etc.
We have six Disability Liaison Stewards working the East Stand, West Stand, the Smethwick End and the Birmingham Road Stand and are readily identifiable by White High Visibility jackets with ‘Disability Liaison
Security on matchdays is a prime focus for the Club and all supporters will undergo checks / searches before entry into the stadium in accordance with the Safety of Sports Ground Regulations.
All WBA staff are trained in customer relations and are only too happy to assist any supporter with any queries and or concerns that you may have … they are also trained to evacuate the stadium safely in an emergency should we be required to do so, we have extensive plans in place for emergencies and are in regular communications with the emergency services.
West Bromwich Albion prides itself on the services and quality we provide to the public, not just on matchdays but also for special events like weddings or corporate events for the business community. People with disabilities have access to the full range of conference facilities in the East Stand and access is via the East Stand Main Reception, it is on the level and reception / security staff will assist in passing through the security process.
- Access to conference rooms via 2 staircases for ambulant persons who are happy to use them.
- Alternatively there are 3 lifts available to access the 1st and 2nd floors; the middle lift is a ‘talking lift’.
- The Bassett Suite, on the 2nd floor has a bar with low counter; there are no low counters in other conference suites. All bar staff will happily assist. On matchdays we have waiter/waitress service in The Richardson and Millichip Suites.
- Hearing loops are available in The Richardson and Millichip Suites.
- Conference suites are on the level, wide doors for access and spacious once inside.
Should you require a chair that is equipped with arms please let us know so that we can accommodate your request.
The key contacts for our guests with disabilities who are visiting The Hawthorns are
Disability Liaison Officer
Tel: Ticket Office 0121 227 2227
(Disability Access Officer)
Tel: 0121 524 3470 ext 360 and email: email@example.com
(Match Day Operations Manager)
Tel: 0871 2719823 ext 305 and email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Safety & Security )
Tel: 0121 5243470 ext 321 and email: email@example.com