Eagles Autism Foundation helps set up sensory room at Super Bowl LVII

Eagles making sure all fans feel welcome at Super Bowl LVII

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia Eagles employees are leaving for Arizona Thursday and headed to Super Bowl LVII to watch the players take on the Kansas City Chiefs. 

But a special group will also be making their way to Arizona ahead of the big game to make sure State Farm Stadium is sensory-inclusive so all fans can enjoy the Super Bowl.

Fifteen-year-old Max Hershman has become quite the ambassador for the Eagles Autism Foundation community.

While Max is a huge Eagles fan, sometimes he just needs to take a break from the loud cheering in the stadium stands. 

Kirsten Saraceni, who oversees the Eagles' sensory rooms, said, "This is a space where it's quiet, chill, they can relax for as much time as needed and then head back to their seats." 

"It helps people calm down when they're sad and whenever they need a break they need to come here," Max said.

Every now and then you'll see Swoop taking a time-out rocking sensory headphones. This is all part of the Eagles' partnership with KultureCity to ensure Lincoln Financial Field is a sensory-inclusive stadium.

"Past experiences they might have had to leave, or they might have had to bring one of their children, because the other child, with their challenges, it wasn't a great fit," said Ryan Hammond, executive director of the Eagles Autism Foundation. "So these resources have opened the door for families to experience things together."

Over the past several years, the Eagles Autism Foundation has raised over $20 million that's invested into research, community programs and training gameday staff. 

"The Eagles gave me an opportunity to work, and my whole life, this is what I wanted to do. They do such a great job with autism and the autism community," a staff member said.

With the Birds headed to the Super Bowl, the Eagles Autism Foundation is making sure there's a place for all fans, and will provide kits that include noise-canceling sensory headphones and a guide for events with the loudest sounds.

When those happen, fans may want to make use of the sensory room in the stadium.

"State Farm Stadium did not have a sensory room. They actually built it over the last two weeks," Hammond said.

Max Hershman (back right) is now on his way to Super Bowl LVII. There will be a sensory room at State Farm Stadium, something that Max has used at the Linc. A sensory room has been at the Eagles home stadium since 2019. Courtesy photo

"The sensory room has been a destination for families," she added. On the Eagles' app, "you can go through the visual schedule you can prepare for when there's going to be fireworks or you can prepare for different things that happen in the game that may be challenging for an individual," Hammond added.

Leading the way is Max, who is no stranger to the Super Bowl. He was at the game in 2018 when the Eagles beat the Patriots.

"It was phenomenal," he said, remembering the Philly Special and meeting former Eagles players.

And Super Bowl weekend, there will be activities and spaces for individuals with sensory challenges too, including a music fest and the NFL Experience where players were even seen carrying miniature Swoops.

As Max got ready to head out and catch a flight, he never really mentioned if he was looking forward to the big game.

"We don't want to get way too excited, not too far, we gotta keep it cool," he said.

We get it. It's a Philly thing.

Max is heading out Thursday, and he's super excited because he will also be interviewing players. He says he wants to find out who has the messiest locker and who is the best dancer.

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