Another new access review, and this one’s not for a concert but an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) event, more specifically for Cage Warriors CW98 at Resorts World Arena Birmingham. As always, ticket buying, travel and on the night seating and experience covered in this review.
(Disclaimer: I’m aware “accessibility” means different things to different people, as I said before, these are MY views on my experience of accessibility at this venue as a manual wheelchair user (in this instance), I obviously can’t speak for others experiences but feel free to add your experiences in the comments!)
If you want a one-word description of the ticket buying process at this venue it would be SIMPLE! There was a disabled ticket booking line, the number for that line was stated on the venue website. So, I simply called that number and stated what event I wanted tickets for and the fact I’d need a wheelchair space and carer ticket and that was it, no forms, no documents, no dramas, tickets were booked within minutes!
In terms of getting from London to Birmingham, we took a train (technically trains) from Euston to Birmingham University station. We then took an Uber from the friend’s house where we were staying to the arena itself, which took about 30 minutes. Since I was in my manual wheelchair, it was quite a simple process in that we could just fold the chair and transport it in the boot of a standard (not necessarily wheelchair accessible) vehicle while I transferred into the back seat.
Experience & Seating
In terms of the full experience at the arena, the first, and probably only, issue I noted was a mirror opposite the toilet in the disabled bathroom. It seems like a small point and you’re probably wondering why the hell I’m wittering on about bathroom fixtures, but it’s undignifying if the person helping you out has to stay in the bathroom with you (as is the case for some disabled people) turns around to give you privacy and can STILL see everything, this is particularly an issue if the person helping you out is of the opposite gender (this wasn’t the case for me but can be the case for a lot of disabled people). The next mission was finding our seats, which is easier said than done in a big arena with so many sections. Once we’d found them, our seats were on a raised platform (with seats for those accompanying the disabled person alongside a wheelchair space) and there were cageside seats on the floor level in front of us. Now, I must say I was a little nervous about having the cageside seats right in front of us as I knew people tended to stand during the walkouts and was worried about being able to see over them (I love the walkouts too!). However, I must say that those in the cageside seats were always courteous in asking and making sure I could see everything even WHILE they were stood (so thank you to those people for their courtesy) which meant I could enjoy the RIDICULOUSLY brilliant atmosphere like everyone else. I also had no problem attending the free (for ticketholders) meet & greet, from which there are pictures below) as it was in a fully accessible foyer.
Overall, a great experience and one of the best atmospheres I’ve been in. Cage Warriors shows will always feel like the one event where I’m just treated like everyone else, not Em the girl in the wheelchair, just Em, that girl that travels the country to see the sport she loves, who just HAPPENS to be in a wheelchair, and for that I’ll always be grateful to the Cage Warriors crew!
Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)
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