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Pirates partner with KultureCity to certify PNC Park as sensory inclusive

May 3, 2019

Today, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced the Club has partnered with KultureCity to certify PNC Park as a sensory inclusive environment. This new initiative promotes an accommodating and positive experience for all fans with sensory issues as the team works to make all games hosted at PNC Park sensory inclusive. The

Today, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced the Club has partnered with KultureCity to certify PNC Park as a sensory inclusive environment. This new initiative promotes an accommodating and positive experience for all fans with sensory issues as the team works to make all games hosted at PNC Park sensory inclusive.

The certification process requires the PNC Park game day staff to be trained by leading medical professionals on how to recognize those fans with sensory needs and equips them with the knowledge on how to handle a sensory overload situation.

The Pirates and KultureCity work to ensure sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads, are available to all guests who may feel overwhelmed by the environment at PNC Park. Fans also have access to a quiet area, located in the Legacy Square area, for those who may need a quieter and more secure environment.

“We are proud to work with KultureCity to provide the most inclusive environment for all of our fans throughout the season,” said Pirates president Frank Coonelly. “We recognize that during each game sensory sensitivities may hinder some of our biggest fans from enjoying the game they love. With this in mind, we are working diligently to ensure there are tools at their disposal as well as areas within the ballpark they can take advantage of to make their experience a great one.”

Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to over stimulation and noise, which is an enormous part of the environment in a venue such as PNC Park. With this new certification, the Pirates are now better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible when attending games.

“To know that you soon will be able to see families attend a baseball game, a true community binding experience, with their loved ones who have a sensory challenge and who were not able to previously attend, is truly a heartwarming moment,” said Dr. Julian Maha, Co-Founder, KultureCity. “Our communities are what shapes our lives and to know that the Pirates are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing.”

The announcement comes prior to Sunday’s Autism Awareness Day at PNC Park as the Pirates work to raise awareness about the spectrum of Autism. For tickets and more information on the day, visit pirates.com/autism. In coordination with Autism Awareness Day, the Pirates in-game production will not include fireworks during home runs or postgame to accommodate those fans with sensory issues.

Prior to attending a Pirates game, families can download the free KultureCity App and find a list of sensory features available and access points. Also, on the App is the Social Story which will provide a preview of what to expect while enjoying an event at PNC Park.

About KultureCity

KultureCity is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using their resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs; not just those with Autism. Since the program’s inception, KultureCity has created over 200 sensory inclusive venues in 3 countries; this includes special events such as: NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl, MLB All Star Weekend. KultureCity has won many awards for its efforts: NASCAR Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award in 2017, Cleveland Cavaliers’ Quiet Space Sensory Room at Quicken Loans Arena was a finalist for the 2018 Stadium Business Award, and the 2018 Clio Sports Silver for social good in partnership with Cleveland Cavaliers/Quicken Loans Arena.

Recently, KultureCity was awarded one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019 by FastCompany.