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    Accessible Stadiums: Please Read

    I have a question in regard to ADA law and sports stadiums.

    Here are the facts:

    1) My university's football stadium (Carter Finley at NCSU) is connected to the RBC Center (home of NCSU bball and the Carolina Hurricanes).

    2) Since the RBC lot and the Carter-Finley lots are connected, both are utilized on football game days.

    3) Currently, the University has assigned each and every "handicap/accessible" space to members of the Wolfpack Club (our booster club). Accessible spaces at the RBC/Carter-Finely are NOT AVAILABLE to the public/disabled students at this time.

    4) Accessible parking spaces at the RBC/Carter-Finley were assigned to Wolfpack Club members based on their RANK within the organization. RANK is determined in large part due to how much money individuals have donated to the University/athletic department. This information was taken directly from an email written to me by the Assistant AD at NCSU.

    4) Those in need of accessible parking must obtain permit to park in a private school's parking lot (away from the stadium and ride a shuttle to Carter-Finley).

    5) The ADA states:

    Accessible Parking Spaces

    "When parking spaces are provided, accessible parking spaces for cars and
    accessible parking spaces for vans are required. Accessible parking spaces must be the closest parking spaces to the accessible entrances and must be on an accessible route to the entrances."

    (Full text can be found here: http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/stadium.txt)

    Is it legal for the University to essentially allow individuals to "buy accessibility" by assigning it based on rank in the Wolfpack Club?

    Is it legal to have a state-supported University's facility with all accessible spaces pre-assigned for the season (allowing none for the public on game day)?

    Finally, I understand why the University may need to allow for "overflow accessible parking" from the private school lot (with shuttle). However, this should not be the University's primary means of dealing with the disabled public.

    Am I out of line here? I want to pursue this further but I want to be sure that I'm not overreacting.

    What do you all think?
    "Your love is just the antidote when nothing else will cure me" ~Sarah McLachlan

    #2
    It would seem that you have a very legitimate argument, both "morally" and legally. I would assume that "regular" parking is available in the close lot for non-members, correct? If so, that adds to your argument.

    Comment


      #3
      I hope I am understanding this incorrectly. Are you saying that handicapped parking is being reserved for the high rollers? That would be so very wrong!

      Comment


        #4
        At Virginia Tech the already marked handicapped spots right outside of the stadium are for paying hokie club memebrs, but they still have to have tags or placard to park there. We park several lots away were we pay $5 dollars (like everyone else that parks on campus) to park in a lot that you again have to tags or placard and ride a shuttle to the sadium. We ride the shuttle to the stadium and choose to "walk" back after the game. We could ride the shuttle back but because of the traffic we get back to the lot faster than the shuttle.
        www.cawvsports.org
        The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. ~ Don Juan Matus
        We are Virginia Tech… We must laugh again… No one deserves a tragedy… We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid…We are better than we think and not quit what we want to be…We are the Hokies…We will prevail, we will prevail, we will prevail. We ARE Virginia Tech! ~ Nikki Giovanni

        Comment


          #5
          If the highrollers dont have handicapped placards......I believe I would call the police and hang out until they have written the tickets.

          I would persue it.......sounds like an ADA violation to me. Definately sounds like discrimination. Arent they supposed to have a certain percentage of Hcap slots based on the total amount of parking spots available.

          If you have your handicapped placard, you already have your "permit to park".

          Ive never heard of anything like this.......

          Since we are talking about stadiums. Have you ever been to Clemson University? I went to a concert there and was refused the right to use the elevator by none other than "Brooks and Dunns" road manager. I was also told that if I went down to my seats on the arena floor, I was violating the fire code. The arena floor was not accessible to those with handicaps and off limits to "us" in accordance with the campus fire code. There are no rails or anything on the steps going down to the arena floor.

          I went anyway and told them to call the police. Of course they didnt. I didnt persue it because my daughter wanted to go to school there at the time.
          T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

          My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

          Comment


            #6
            This sounds like a violation of the ADA, both Title III , Public Accomodations and Title II , State and Local government.

            The folks at DBTAC are usually good at answering questions and suggesting remedies. I would give them a call.

            ADA technical assistance :
            http://www.adainfo.org/
            Last edited by ChesBay; 31 Aug 2006, 12:07 AM.

            Comment


              #7
              It goes way beyond that. If you check out the "accessible seating" you will notice not everyone in a chair, what pulmonary problems? nuh uh. At the Link,
              people who have issuses get put in accessible seating. Only one or two are disabled, it's a scam. Can't even get season tickets if you're disabled. I would love to know how many actually are.

              Joe
              And the truth shall set you free.

              Comment


                #8
                hold on a minute. are you all saying those in need of a dis spot cannot pay for the extra perk of having one reserved, like everybody else? with that, i disagree. in fact, this is a common occurrence at employers (minus paying, of course).

                now, i do not believe the ADA addresses this issue. but i do think i have the right to the option to reserve a parking space (for money) just like anybody else. however, if those reserved dis spots are counted in the ADA required percentage of dis/AB (which i'm sure they are--i recently ran into a valet parking issue where i couldn't park my van in the valet dis spot, but they could ) then we see a hole in the ADA.
                Last edited by cass; 31 Aug 2006, 12:44 AM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  On #4, do the big donors have to be h/c? If no, give 'em hell. We go to the RBC center 44 times a year minimum (can you guess why?!) and ALWAYS get great parking right up front, no problems and we do NOT pay extra for it. In fact, we get upgraded - we pakr in the premium lots (closer to building) but pay regular parking rates.

                  Originally posted by JDR
                  I have a question in regard to ADA law and sports stadiums.

                  Here are the facts:

                  1) My university's football stadium (Carter Finley at NCSU) is connected to the RBC Center (home of NCSU bball and the Carolina Hurricanes).

                  2) Since the RBC lot and the Carter-Finley lots are connected, both are utilized on football game days.

                  3) Currently, the University has assigned each and every "handicap/accessible" space to members of the Wolfpack Club (our booster club). Accessible spaces at the RBC/Carter-Finely are NOT AVAILABLE to the public/disabled students at this time.

                  4) Accessible parking spaces at the RBC/Carter-Finley were assigned to Wolfpack Club members based on their RANK within the organization. RANK is determined in large part due to how much money individuals have donated to the University/athletic department. This information was taken directly from an email written to me by the Assistant AD at NCSU.

                  4) Those in need of accessible parking must obtain permit to park in a private school's parking lot (away from the stadium and ride a shuttle to Carter-Finley).

                  5) The ADA states:

                  Accessible Parking Spaces

                  "When parking spaces are provided, accessible parking spaces for cars and
                  accessible parking spaces for vans are required. Accessible parking spaces must be the closest parking spaces to the accessible entrances and must be on an accessible route to the entrances."

                  (Full text can be found here: http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/stadium.txt)

                  Is it legal for the University to essentially allow individuals to "buy accessibility" by assigning it based on rank in the Wolfpack Club?

                  Is it legal to have a state-supported University's facility with all accessible spaces pre-assigned for the season (allowing none for the public on game day)?

                  Finally, I understand why the University may need to allow for "overflow accessible parking" from the private school lot (with shuttle). However, this should not be the University's primary means of dealing with the disabled public.

                  Am I out of line here? I want to pursue this further but I want to be sure that I'm not overreacting.

                  What do you all think?
                  Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by darkeyed_daisy
                    Since we are talking about stadiums. Have you ever been to Clemson University? I went to a concert there and was refused the right to use the elevator by none other than "Brooks and Dunns" road manager. I was also told that if I went down to my seats on the arena floor, I was violating the fire code. The arena floor was not accessible to those with handicaps and off limits to "us" in accordance with the campus fire code. There are no rails or anything on the steps going down to the arena floor. I went anyway and told them to call the police. Of course they didnt. I didnt persue it because my daughter wanted to go to school there at the time.
                    Daisy,

                    The exact same thing happened to me in the early 1990s at the University of Missouri basketball arena, except that I was a journalist covering a game. Press row was on the arena floor, accessible either by elevator or a long ramp (for TV trucks only). I was told it was a fire code violation to have wheelchairs on that level. I fought back after I got home and the story was picked up nationwide. They changed their policy soon thereafter.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      You might get in touch with someone from both the United Spinal Association (www.unitedspinal.org) and the PVA (www.pva.org). Both organizations have taken on some large stadiums over their accessibility, and have won ADA suits. They will help non-veterans with a good case.

                      (KLD)
                      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by SoFla
                        I hope I am understanding this incorrectly. Are you saying that handicapped parking is being reserved for the high rollers? That would be so very wrong!

                        Yes, that is exactly what I'm saying.

                        Clipper...I agree. I'll have to check on the gen. public parking in these lots. The stadium holds 60,000 people so people park all over the place.

                        Aly....depending on what I find out here, you may want to pursue this at VT as well.

                        Darkeyed....be sure to read the ADA link in my original post. Not only did you have the right to be down there then, but arenas are required by law to have accessible seating in all areas comparable to seating provided to AB individuals.

                        Chesbay...thanks for the link.

                        Cass....I am in no way saying that you shouldnt be able to reserve an accessible parking space by use of money. However, based on my interpretaton of the law, it seems that it would be illegal, not to mention immoral, for a state supported school/facility to reserve ALL accessible spaces around said facility. This process, essentially makes the total number of public accessible spaces surrounding the facility ZERO. Keep in mind this is a public university.

                        Zilla....I have had absolutely no problems with the Canes. They have been more than accomodating when attending hockey games. My only problems at the RBC have come when dealing with NCSU. It seems that the University is more concerned about money than they are about compliance with law.

                        SCI Nurse...thank you for the links as well. I slept on this last night and have decided to pursue this with the help of an attorney. At the very least, I want to gain a better understanding of what laws/statutes, if any, are being violated.
                        "Your love is just the antidote when nothing else will cure me" ~Sarah McLachlan

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Justin, this appears to be the common practice with colleges, at least all of the ones I've visited during football games. Like Aly says about Tech, you park in a satellite lot and take a shuttle in. I can personally sttest to the same situation with Maryland, Chapel Hill, and Ga. Tech. Handicapped parking is NOT a problem at Duke games... nobody goes anyway so there are LOTS of spaces

                          The local Disabilites Services Board fought UVa on their decision to do just that when Scott Stadium was renovated a few years back, and lost. It was before I started serving on the board and I'm not sure how far they pushed it. My guess is no further than discussions with the university, nothing legal.

                          It doesn't seem fair but my guess is that they're right. They will give you a spot AT the stadium IF you pay the big bucks like everyone else. Otherwise you have to do just like everyone else that doesn't give 15-20 grand a year and park at the satellite lot and shuttle in.

                          So I hear you guys have a strong running game this year? I'm not sure WHAT we have up here at Virginia this year. We'll get a glimpse on Saturday night on ESPNU.
                          "It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by DeadEye
                            Justin, this appears to be the common practice with colleges, at least all of the ones I've visited during football games. Like Aly says about Tech, you park in a satellite lot and take a shuttle in. I can personally sttest to the same situation with Maryland, Chapel Hill, and Ga. Tech. Handicapped parking is NOT a problem at Duke games... nobody goes anyway so there are LOTS of spaces

                            The local Disabilites Services Board fought UVa on their decision to do just that when Scott Stadium was renovated a few years back, and lost. It was before I started serving on the board and I'm not sure how far they pushed it. My guess is no further than discussions with the university, nothing legal.

                            It doesn't seem fair but my guess is that they're right. They will give you a spot AT the stadium IF you pay the big bucks like everyone else. Otherwise you have to do just like everyone else that doesn't give 15-20 grand a year and park at the satellite lot and shuttle in.

                            So I hear you guys have a strong running game this year? I'm not sure WHAT we have up here at Virginia this year. We'll get a glimpse on Saturday night on ESPNU.

                            Dead Eye...thanks for the post. I kinda figured that this was common practice. However, just because it is common, that doesn't make it right.

                            I will be contacting an attorney this morning. If I do not have a legal case then I will pursue this with other options.

                            As far as our running game...yeah, Baker and Brown should be tough to handle...if we can just get the rest of our team in order .
                            Last edited by JDR; 31 Aug 2006, 10:08 AM.
                            "Your love is just the antidote when nothing else will cure me" ~Sarah McLachlan

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Keep us posted Justin. I'm already a thorn to UVa and don't mind pricking them again. (Wait, that doesn't sound right)
                              "It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein

                              Comment

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