There are two areas in Target Field that have to be accessible to fans in wheelchairs. If these areas are accessible, wheelchair users will have a much better game day experience than they had in the Metrodome.
Restrooms: For a fan in a wheelchair, going to the restroom at the Metrodome was not easy. The stalls were too small for wheelchairs and the restrooms were crowded at the Metrodome. They could miss two whole innings by the time they returned to their seats. At Target Field, I hope the restrooms are much bigger. The stalls should be big enough for a wheelchair and a companion to move around with ease. A wheelchair should be able to turn and move to position the person to use the toilet easier. There should be a changing table in the restrooms in case somebody needs it. The fountains in the restrooms or on the concourses should be low enough for a fan in a wheelchair to wash their hands as independent as possible. Once again, there should be televisions in the restrooms in case a disabled fan has to take a long time in the restroom. If the restrooms are like this in Target Field fans in wheelchairs and their companion could be back in their seats within ten minutes, but certain fans may need more time.
Concessions: Hot dogs, peanuts, cracker jacks, ice cream and sausage are foods fans eat when they attend a ballgame. But, will fans in wheelchairs be able to get them at the concessions? I hope so. The concession counters have to be low enough for fans in wheelchairs to reach their food from the counter server or for the counter server to reach down to hand the food to the fan in the wheelchair. The condiments should be in reach of fans in wheelchairs. I found this statement on the Minnesota Ballpark Authority’s website: “Once inside the ballpark, those with disabilities will find lower counters (34 inches) with brail and large print at all food and beverage concessions.” We will see if this is true.
Note: Both Sam Graves and I will be at the opening game at Target Field on April 12.
Written by: Michael L. Sack