Denver Arena To Provide More Accessible Seating
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 26, 2004
DENVER, COLORADO--The Colorado Cross Disability Coalition (CCDC) and Kroenke Sports reached an agreement Thursday that will make the Pepsi Center more accessible to fans with disabilities.
"CCDC is very pleased that Denver will have an arena with the accessibility and choice of seating for people with disabilities that the Pepsi Center will offer," said Kevin Williams, CCDC Legal Program Director, in a statement released by both sides.
CCDC filed a discrimination complaint against Kroenke Sports in November 2002 claiming that patrons with physical disabilities were not given a choice of admission prices and lines of sight at the arena comparable to those for the general public.
The two groups have been meeting for over a year to discuss interpretations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and negotiate a settlement.
"Although the parties disagreed on their interpretation of the ADA, both parties put their efforts into crafting a solution rather than fighting in court," said Lisa Hogan, the attorney representing Kroenke Sports. "We believe this approach best serves the interest of persons with disabilities and the business community."
Under the agreement, Kroenke Sports will provide accessible seating in the center of the arena's lower level. Kroenke Sports will also improve access for patrons with disabilities at the Pepsi Center's box office windows and parking lots.
Additionally, the Pepsi Center will work to educate fans who buy seats intended for individuals with disabilities. Both sides expressed frustration that fans sometimes try to abuse the ticket sales process by falsely representing themselves as needing accessible seats.
"We were pleased with the Pepsi Centers positive approach to this process and with the results we were able to achieve," said the plaintiffs' attorney, Amy Robertson.
The results of the negotiations are stated in a Consent Decree, which was signed Friday by Judge Robert Blackburn.
"Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition v. Kroenke Sports Enterprises, LLC, et al" (Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition)