NBA makes space for fans with autism spectrum disorder

Story highlights

  • The home of the Utah Jazz is opening its sensory-inclusive space on Friday
  • The Cavaliers, Kings, Thunder and Jazz provide the soothing spaces for fans

(CNN)When crowds of noisy fans pack sports and entertainment arenas, many people go expecting -- even hoping -- to experience some sort of sensory overload.

But for families with children on the autism spectrum, it's difficult to enter an often rowdy, overpowering environment without worrying about the kids. For some, it's virtually impossible.
It's a challenge that's now being addressed by the NBA.
    A "sensory room" designed for children with autism spectrum disorder and other intellectual and developmental disabilities will open at Salt Lake City's Vivint Smart Home Arena, home of the Utah Jazz, on Friday. The event will be a feature of Autism Awareness Night at the venue.
    The creation of the space makes the Jazz the fourth pro basketball team with a sensory room; the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Sacramento Kings and the Oklahoma City Thunder also have these rooms. The new space is part of a partnership between Vivint Gives Back and the Jazz.
    The NBA is partnering with nonprofit KultureCity to make 19 arenas "sensory-inclusive"