Wrigley Field Focuses On Accessibility In Upgrades
Since the ownership of the Chicago Cubs changed hands in 2009, there has been talk that the historic Wrigley Field would undergo various renovations. Proposals included improvements to the facade, infrastructure, concourses, suites, press box, bullpens, and clubhouses, as well as the addition of restaurants, patio areas, batting tunnels, a 5,700-square-foot jumbotron, and an adjacent hotel, plaza, and office-retail complex.
Some changes were made to maintain structural integrity of the iconic stadium, while other upgrades made games more accessible to the growing fan base. According to KWQC reports, a federal lawsuit filed last year resulted in the addition of more wheelchair-accessible seating and available elevators.
The lawsuit, filed by the father of a fan with a form of muscular dystrophy, claimed that previous renovations had reduced seating in the bleachers and behind home plate. It said seating was moved farther from the field and left disabled fans without a clear view when others stood.
Adam Ballard is a policy analyst for the disability advocacy group Access Living. He says the Cubs have made vast improvements but sports teams must "make sure they are including our community."
Accessibility issues also expanded into the restrooms. According to information on the Wrigley Field website, all restrooms throughout the ballpark are accessible. Family restrooms are located on the first-base and third-base sides in the main concourse and Upper Level. A family restroom also is available in the upper bleachers.
According to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, each public and common use (including employee) restroom must be accessible. This includes restrooms in work areas and restrooms located in sky boxes and suites.
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