Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition v. Colorado Rockies Baseball Club, Ltd.

336 F. Supp. 2d 1141 (2004)

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Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition v. Colorado Rockies Baseball Club, Ltd.

United States District Court for the District of Colorado
336 F. Supp. 2d 1141 (2004)

Facts

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related regulations (collectively, the act) require stadium operators to provide wheelchair-accessible (accessible) seats that are integrated into and dispersed throughout the stadium and offer sightlines and prices comparable to nonaccessible seats. Until 2001, the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club, Inc. (club) (defendant) sought to comply with these requirements by providing a small number of accessible seats near the front of the infield in the stadium’s lower level and additional accessible seats in the back row of the infield section under an overhang that partially obscured the field. The club charged the same price for accessible and nonaccessible infield seats. In 2001, however, the club introduced luxury, high-cost infield seating that absorbed the accessible seats formerly available near the infield. As a result of this change, the only accessible seats near the infield cost more than $100 per ticket (and could not be purchased in advance for that price), while similar nonaccessible infield seats were available for much less and for advance purchase. The only other accessible seats in the infield section now were in the back row under the view-obscuring overhang. The Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (coalition) (plaintiff) sued the club, alleging that the revised seating violated the act because (1) accessible seats were no longer integrated or dispersed within the infield seating area and (2) accessible seats near the infield were not priced comparably to nonaccessible infield seats and did not offer comparable sightlines. The club moved for partial summary judgment, arguing that pursuant to guidance from the United States Department of Justice (guidance), accessible seats may be clustered (rather than dispersed) in areas with sight lines requiring slopes of more than five percent and that the revised seating complied with the guidance The coalition opposed summary judgment, arguing that, among other things, the guidance did not (1) relieve the club from providing integrated seats comparable in price and sightline to nonaccessible seats and (2) apply to the front of the infield section because the guidance addressed only seating areas without accessible egress and the front of the infield section had accessible egress.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Johnson, C.J.)

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