This past week there was an article written about a man from Los Angeles, California, who filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, an MLB team. The man, J. Paul Charlebois, uses a wheelchair. Charlebois said he believes his rights were violated at Angel Stadium, where the Angels play. He attended a game in July 2009 with a friend who is an Angels season ticket holder. The tickets were on the club level, which is the second level of seating. According to the lawsuit, Charlebois discovered he couldn’t get a seat where he could sit in his wheelchair.
Charlebois was informed the entire level had only two wheelchair accessible seats (even though in the terrace level, the level below the club level, and in the outfield, there are numerous wheelchair accessible seats), and they were both occupied. He was told by an usher the only option was to have stadium employees carry Charlebois to and from general admission seats on that level. He declined this option. City officials have not yet reviewed this case, and declined to comment. An Angels spokesman, who is reviewing the case, also declined to comment.
Every sports facility should have numerous wheelchair accessible seats on every level. Charlebois’ attorney, V. James De Simone, said, “It is outrageous that Angel Stadium, which underwent a costly renovation in 1999, deliberately ignored its obligation to wheelchair-bound patrons.”
I agree. Every fan should have equal access to seating on all levels. Hopefully more wheelchair accessible seats are added to Angel Stadium and other sports facilities that lack them so fans who use wheelchairs can enjoy the game as much as able-bodied fans.
To read the article, go to: http://www.ocregister.com/news/level-253534-wheelchair-stadium.html
Written by: Sam Graves