Stadium for All

An innovative service allows the blind to experience the fun of a soccer match at the stadium.
Alberto Borghi

Every true fan has wondered whether to watch the game of their beloved soccer team on television or right there at the stadium. Who at least once had the chance of watching a game in a stadium knows that there is no question about it, the feelings and emotions one experiences have nothing to do with watching a game on even the largest television. It is a matter of being in a place which is like the temple of followers of a religion not allowing monotheism and dancing priests on a green rectangle celebrating precise tactical rites. You have to experience becoming part of a community with others who cheer on with you and enjoy the high moods of a game. Though you may sometimes wonder why you had to face the cold or the rain, when the couch would have been so comfortable. But there is a precise moment where fans become part of the whole without losing their individuality: the moment the goal is scored.


Dall'Ara Stadium, Bologna

You can also close your eyes, and what you see in front of you is a space filled with emotions and a community of intent, the colours of your team worn by every single person and the joy of fans. Only at the stadium can you perceive the roar of the public echoing in unison their enthusiasm without any refrain or bawling out their scorching disappointment. And even those who cannot see can now be an integral part of the soccer experience without losing a moment of the players' exploits on the field. For now, this is happening only in Bologna at the Renato Dall'Ara Stadium thanks to the synergy of many, enlightened institutional and non-institutional players who have collaborated in the creation of the Stadium for All project.


Dall'Ara Stadium, Bologna

Thanks to Bologna's association W il Calcio, the Institute for the Blind Francesco Cavazza, the City of Bologna, the Bologna Football Club 1909 as well as the Italian Football Federation, an innovative and important service allows blind and visually impaired people to experience the emotions of a soccer game in the stadium thanks to radio commentaries exclusively broadcast to them. The service began on the occasion of the Bologna-Naples match on May 25th (the last game of the Serie A championship 2018-19). Some fans were hosted by Bologna FC 1909 in the stands and were accompanied along the 90-minute game by radio commentators (on that occasion, Fausto Viviani of W il Calcio and Marco Mattioli from Cavazza). Communication was done through wireless technology by Dall'Ara from Bologna Welcome to the fans' earphones. Not only did they listen to comments about what happened on the field, they were also able to interact directly with commentators and ask questions in WhatsApp messages exchanged within the group of users created ad hoc to obtain information on demand, also aimed at what is happening in the stands, because the game is played on the field and in the stands as well. The goal is to extend the service to as many users as possible, from the six lucky fans to at least fifteen for each match.


Dall'Ara Stadium, Bologna

And the colours of the protagonists' shirts will not only be Bologna's red and blue, but also the universal colours by definition, at least in our country: blue. In fact, the radio broadcasts of the Stadium for All also told the exploits of the Italian National Under 21 team involved in the European category in the games held at the Dall'Ara Stadium on June 16 and 19, 2019. This important innovation really opens up the stadium to everyone, with no more barriers, in the hope that the exploits of players are really worthy of being told like an epic adventure of which we can be proud.


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