But for people with sensory issues, that noise can be difficult to handle. To help tackle the issue, Seattle Seahawks General Manager John Schneider and his wife Traci created “Ben’s Room.”
The newly renovated sensory room offers those with sensory issues a place to go to escape the excitement of the game and the roar of the crowd.
The Schneiders were instrumental in bringing the room to life and personally motivated to create the space.
“We started it because we have a son, Ben, who is on the Autism spectrum and he struggles in the community,” Traci said. “He has a lot of sensory issues and is easily overwhelmed.”
The space allows Ben and others who struggle with sensory issues to go somewhere in the stadium where they can still enjoy a football game or other events.
“The empathy level is huge and it’s very high for people who are on the spectrum and have sensory issues,” John said. “If you don’t experience those things, then you don’t know, so your empathy has to be high.”
The space has been in the stadium for a couple of years, but was recently updated and renamed after Ben.
“He was diagnosed when he was 3 and the journey was hard,” Traci said. “As it is for all families that have Autism in their immediate families.”
Traci helped Ben start a business creating art since he graduated from high school. His artwork is even hanging in the sensory room.
“His art really gives him a space to express himself and he used art a lot growing up as that calming place and an escape,” she said.
Some other changes in the room include newly carpeted walls to dampen noise and a subdued color on the walls. The bubble wall and the art are also popular interactive pieces.
The Schneiders worked with staff and partnered with Kulture City to renovate the room.
“Kulture City has come in and trained over 400 people on our staff to really understand what that might look like for someone and how to identify someone who has a sensory issue,” Traci said.
Sensory kits can also be checked out to use outside of the room during the games.
Ben’s Room is in the guest services center and is open for all stadium events.