Rather than just meeting minimum ADA guidelines, the new St. Paul Saints (independent; American Association) ballpark under construction will feature an abundance of seating options for the disabled.
The Americans with Disabilities Act sets forth minimum requirements for accessibility, based on venue size. The baseline is 0.5 percent of capacity, which means a 7,000-capacity ballpark like the new Lowertown facility would require a minimum of 35 handicapped spaces.
However, the Saints are planning for more at the new Lowertown ballpark, with 70 wheelchair spots on the agenda as well as 70 adjacent padded seats for family and caregivers. In addition, there are plans for 180 more seats on the concourse level with wider legroom, designed for less-mobile fans. From the Pioneer Press:
Rick Cardenas, a downtown resident and advocate for the disabled with Advocating Change Together, said he will be taking a closer look at designs as they come together. What he’s seen so far, however, strikes him as a sizable improvement over Midway Stadium.
“The (plans) that I’ve seen actually do make it conducive to getting into the building, but I don’t know about the interior yet,” Cardenas said. “Once you’re in, how’s it going to fit?”
Cardenas, who uses a wheelchair, was happy to hear Tuesday that the new ballpark design also calls for ADA-accessible entrances and vehicle drop-offs, clearer signage marked with Braille and color contrasted directions, four elevators, and 10 single-occupant restrooms targeted to the disabled.
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