Upgrades to Wrigley Field may have benefited most fans, but the renovations allegedly left wheelchair users in a worse position–literally–so the U.S. Attorney’s office has filed suit against the team for Wrigley Field ADA violations.
Between 2015 and 2019 the Cubs embarked on a multi-year, $550-million Wrigley Field renovation under the 1060 1060 Project, with the Friendly Confines overhauled from top to bottom, from inside to outside. The renovations began with structural repairs to the Wrigley Field steel and concrete infrastructure. There’s very little of the old ballpark that was not touched in some way, whether it was the addition of new high-end seating behind home plate—requiring a move of the dugouts—or the new club sections under the grandstand or new social spaces in the bleachers.
That high-end seating was one of the points of contention for disabled attendees who said they were offered less numerous seating options and of lower quality than existing before the 1060 Project was initiated. This is per a lawsuit filed in December 2019, later picked up by the U.S. Attorney’s office. The team, however, says that options for the disabled were improved by the renovations. According to the new filings, the 1060 Project renovations “removed the best wheelchair seating in the stadium,” while also not providing enough lowered counter spaces and paper-towel dispensers in the restrooms and moving wheelchair seating in the grandstand and bleachers.
“Wrigley Field previously had 15 general admission wheelchair seats with excellent, unobstructed views over standing spectators on the main bleacher concourse in right field, but the Cubs eliminated those wheelchair seats during the 1060 Project,” according to the filing.
Similar lawsuits have been filed against the operators of T-Mobile Park and Oriole Park. In the case of T-Mobile Park, the Seattle Mariners successfully defended a lawsuit regarding ADA access, with one potential issue being contradictory and vague standards on what actually constitutes ADA access.
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