What Does ADA Compliant Mean for a Stadium?

What Does ADA Compliant Mean for a Stadium?

The U.S. government is suing the Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs for allegedly not in compliance with Americans With Disabilities Act standards during their renovation of Wrigley Field. The lawsuit claims that the most accessible wheelchair seating was taken away from the stadium and wasn’t included in any of the stadium’s sky box seating plans. The wheelchair seating into the final row in the stadium and the view is usually blocked by drinking rails or standing fans.

As per the Cubs that the improvements were intended to enhance the accessibility of the stadium. This included the addition of 50% more seats for wheelchairs. Additionally, the renovations included eleven more elevators, as well as improved auditory assistance equipment. It is United States’ second-oldest MLB stadium, it’s way past due for an accessible renovation.

What is the ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act, also known as ADA is designed to ensure that those with disabilities enjoy equal opportunities to those with disabilities do. The ADA is based on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and states that there shouldn’t be discrimination based on disabilities (amongst other items). The ADA includes a list of guidelines for federally-funded spaces as well as spaces accessible to the public including stadiums.

Stadium ADA Compliancy

New stadiums have to be wheelchair accessible. Although it may sound like a redundant requirement however “accessible” to me in this context is “easy for wheelchair users to reach.” The seating for wheelchairs must:

  • The stadium will be awash with players.
  • Available at any level and all prices (including the skyboxes)
  • Accessible via ramps or elevators via restrooms or parking
  • Make companion seats available near each wheelchair
  • You will have a similar line of vision to those who are not wheelchairs
  • Record events at which the majority of people stand all the time. This includes events that involve a lot of standing.

A quarter of the aisle seats need to have the absence of an armrest, or a removable armrest to accommodate people with limited mobility and who do not use wheelchairs.

In addition, audio assistance and alarms with visuals are accessible to those that are deaf, or difficult to hear. Signs must be accessible for all participants at an eye level. Brail must be considered in Wall signage. Accommodations for accessibility must be identified clearly.

The stadiums that were built before ADA similar to Wrigley Field, may consider changing their structure. But, not all publically accessible spaces are able to make this happen. If this is the case then they should look into alternative ways to provide the same opportunities for spectator.

Many high schools have wheelchair-accessible seating in football stadiums that are on the ground, and smaller sections of seating to accommodate family and friends. The seating allows viewers to see the entire match, as well as the possibility of accessing bathrooms and concessions, without having to build a new stadium.

If there’s a deficiency of accessibility?

If a company is in violation of ADA guidelines, they’re likely to be sued by the company. There are also sanctions that can reach $75,000 in the first time as well as $150,000 for each subsequent offense subsequent offenses. Additionally the fact that a lack of accessibility is a major threat for a company’s image. It is recommended enterprises reassess their accessibility to their public spaces.

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