The federal government is suing the Chicago Cubs regarding renovations to Wrigley Field. The lawsuit claims that the renovations don’t comply with The Americans With Disabilities Act. From 2014 through 2019, Wrigley Field underwent major renovations, including new seats, additional bleachers, a new outdoor concourse, new concessions, renovated facilities, new team clubhouses, and more.
The lawsuit claims the Chicago Cubs didn’t provide wheelchair users with good sightlines compared to other guests and didn’t include accessible seating in new premium clubs and group seating sections. Per the government, wheelchair seating is mainly concentrated in the last row of seating sections in general admission areas.
The lawsuit also mentions accessibility issues with the ballpark’s concession stands, restrooms, and other areas. According to the lawsuit, Wrigley Field’s ticket windows, service counters on Gallagher Way, concession stands throughout the stadium, bar sales counters in the bleachers, various bars and food counters on the main concourse, and self-serve condiment and food counters are all examples of sales and service counters that are allegedly too high.
The lawsuit also highlights several issues with the restrooms at Wrigley Field, such as paper towel dispensers that are out of wheelchair users’ reach, incorrectly mounted toilet paper dispensers, grab bars that are blocked, and out-of-reach baby changing stations, excessively high toilets, and urinals, and more. The lawsuit asserts that not all wheelchair users can utilize shuttle services from Wrigley Field’s parking lots and that not all walkway entrances and slopes within the stadium are properly accessible.
I have been an avid baseball fan since my childhood. I’ve attended numerous games at Fenway Park to cheer on the Boston Red Sox. I loved going to games with my moms and other relatives. I received tickets to a game in third grade. My teacher called my house and gave me permission to miss school the next day.
Going to Fenway Park was always exciting for me. I looked forward to having a hotdog, peanuts, and cotton candy. My cousin worked at Fenway Park for several years. He threw me a bag of peanuts once. I was excited to see players like Mike Lowell and David Ortiz in person. One of my favorite parts of a trip to the ballpark was the chance to look at souvenirs in the team store.
Everybody should have the opportunity to see a Major League Baseball game. People should be able to enjoy America’s national pastime. Fans with disabilities should be able to enjoy a baseball game. Cubs fans shouldn’t have to watch games on TV just because Wrigley Field is inaccessible to them. A disability shouldn’t mean a Chicago Cubs fan can’t go to Wrigley Field. It’s 2022, and all Major League Baseball stadiums should be accessible for every baseball fan.
DeAvila, Joseph. “Chicago Cubs Sued by Justice Department for Allegedly Violating Disability Law at Wrigley Field.” The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, 14 July 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/chicago-cubs-sued-by-justice-department-for-allegedly-violating-disability-law-at-wrigley-field-11657826860?mod=mhp.