Citi Field has installed a new “Sensory Nook” designed to quell overstimulation in fans with medical conditions like autism, ADHD and dyslexia, according to Mets President Sandy Alderson.
“We take a lot of pride in offering a safe place for all of our fans at Citi Field,” he said in a statement. “We are thrilled to include this service and that the Sensory Nook will provide an opportunity for those who wish to use it.”
The home of the Mets installed the new “dugout” on Monday in the stadium’s concourse, and will be free to use for any fans inside the ballpark.
The new amenity allows fans to get away from the roaring crowds and bright lights of the field, and head into a smaller, quiet space that can reduce mental strain and lower anxiety.
“They create an encapsulated environment to positively influence mood, reduce challenging behavior and lower anxiety levels,” said the Nook’s designer, David O’Coimin. “It provides a calming refuge for social and emotional challenges.”
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O’Coimin originally launched Nook as a company to provide quiet meeting places in work environments, but soon adapted to include products designed for those struggling with mental health issues to have a much-need private sanctuary.
“The prevalent ‘one-size-fits-all’ nature of much of today’s environments is unsuited to many people. Everybody is to some extent differently abled – ways of thinking and operating differ from one person to the next. This neurodiversity cannot be shoehorned into one type of space,” added O’Coimin.
The new space will be available for all Mets games and other events at Citi Field going forward, and O’Coimin added that many other stadiums have installed, or are considering installing, a similar space in their venues.