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Court of Appeals in Pasadena Orders District Court to Review Decision on Accessibility at Baseball Stadium

Published on Monday, September 6, 2021 | 5:00 am

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District in Pasadena has decided that a judgment in favor of the stadium where the Seattle Mariners play did not adequately explain how the stadium accommodates visitors in wheelchairs.

In their federal lawsuit against the owners and operators of the park, a group of fans claimed the park does not have accessible sightlines that make it possible for folks in wheelchairs to see all of the game, such as the playing field and the scoreboard, according to Courthouse News.

T-Mobile Park opened in 1999.

“We are pleased with today’s ruling from the Ninth Circuit,” said attorney Conrad Reynoldson. “Everyone deserves an accessible and inclusive experience and baseball fans with disabilities simply wish to have a comparable view of the game when they go out to enjoy America’s pastime. We are hopeful that this decision will lead to positive changes going forward.”

A judge ruled in 2019 that T-Mobile Park was in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and was providing guests who used wheelchairs with proper viewing options.

The Ninth Circuit ruled that the lower court did not review all the components to determine if the park is up to date on their ADA requirements, and ordered the federal court to complete a more comprehensive analysis.

In a separate unpublished opinion, the appeals panel held that wheelchair-accessible seating was sufficiently dispersed throughout T-Mobile Park, and that ticket pricing complied with the ADA, including allegation that the park does not have proper wheelchair-accessible seating in general and that they don’t provide fair proportional ticket pricing for wheelchaired guests.

But the appeals panel found that the stadium was clearly offering the same categories of tickets to wheelchair-using guests as they do the general public and that the price of accessible seating options is never more than a nearby non-accessible seat.

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