EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Batter up! The first home game of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders is just days away and in addition to great baseball. PNC Field is featuring club-level seating for kids on the autism spectrum.
The baseball diamond at PNC Field is quiet now, but soon the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders will take the field for 75 home games, packing this stadium with devoted fans. Some of those fans have sensory sensitives and can now enjoy the game from a special space.
Suite six on the Geisinger Champions club level has been redesigned as a fun, functional space for families with children on the autism spectrum and with special needs to help them enjoy the game.
“The suite holds up to 18 people so it’s really great for a family activity because if they were sitting anywhere else in the ballpark it would be too noisy or too hectic or too stimulating and they would not have a place to decompress,” said Jordan Steiner, Director of Community Relations.
Families can either watch the Railriders live from the stands or relax inside the sensory suite and catch all the action live on the big screen tv.
“The suite is free to the family as long as they fill out a request form, tell us why they want to use the suite and how it would benefit them, 18 tickets and two parking passes are completely complimentary thanks to our partner Curemark,” said Jordan Steiner.
The suite includes calming and cushiony objects even noise-canceling headphones, all designed to help guests cope with sensory sensitivities.
The Curemark Sensory Safe Suite launched in 2021, but with limited capacity due to covid restrictions.
Christina McDermott of Taylor and her family had the opportunity to use the suite last year. She says having a dedicated space like this for her 7-year-old son Malcolm is a game-changer.
“Sometimes there’s reactions. He could start crying or screaming if he gets overstimulated or screaming, sending a child into a frenzy so something like this, knowing he doesn’t have to just pay attention to just the game, is limited to little chair, he has the opportunity to wander, we don’t have to worry about his safety. (but bites) 5:07 it felt good to be here as a family too,” said Christina McDermott.
For the 2022 season, one family will be chosen to use the sensory safe suite per game The first Railriders’ home game is Tuesday, April 12.