Federal lawsuit suggests Cubs prioritized wealthy fans over the disabled, and we’re shocked

Who could ever see this coming from a guy like Tom Ricketts?

Who could ever see this coming from a guy like Tom Ricketts?
image: beautiful pictures

Who would have ever seen this come from a family like the Ricketts?

Even if you’ve been paying attention the story is going of the owner of the Chicago Cubs positive try to avoid Near the every fan of their organizationyou may have missed the most recent entry into what is called the Ricketts vs. Family. Chicago.

Today, the United States Attorney’s Office filed a federal lawsuit against Chicago Baseball Holdings, LLC and others, claiming that the Cubs failed to keep Wrigley Field in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) after extensive renovation of the stadium, which began in 2014. That may sound like uninteresting legal jargon, but here’s what it means in plain English: The Cubs got rid of a bunch of features that make Wrigley Field accessible to people in wheelchairs to install more premium and luxurious seating.

When it came to taking it directly to the Cubs, the US Attorney’s claim did not hold:

The complaint also alleges that the team “failed to remove architectural barriers to access in unchanged parts of Wrigley Field, where it could easily be done. All of this happened despite the Cubs rebuilding much of Wrigley Field as part of Project 1060 and as a result many significant ADA opportunities and obligations to incorporate wheelchair seating and elements. ease of access into and throughout the new and improved facility. “

Um… yes.

These allegations are not news to anyone who follows the Cubs closely. Even before renovations began, Wrigley Field was notoriously difficult for people with mobility issues to navigate, largely due to the age of the park. But shortly after the renovations were announced, there was some word of fans in wheelchairs and walkers unable to reach their seats or toilets, both in the stands and the stands, that went viral. on social networks. It’s hard to imagine that the Cubs, celebrities who are sensitive about what is said about them on social media, are unaware of these issues. What’s easier to imagine is that they haven’t taken any steps to remedy the situation since then.

The complaint goes on to allege that, despite the wheelchair seating in the grandstand, prior to the renovation, there was “excellent, unobstructed view to spectators standing in the main stand at the stadium. right, but the Cubs eliminated those wheelchair seats in Project 1060 by converting that space into the Budweiser Patio. ” If that sentence doesn’t succinctly summarize Ricketts’ tenure, nothing will happen. Now, however, wheelchair seating in the stands “is located in the last row of the stands on the the new gate was built… instead of the main stand waiting room floor, which is farther and closer to the field.”

Worse still, many of the wheelchair seats in the stands are now located in the “baller’s eye” area, covered by a mesh tarp. The US attorney alleges that it was “unbearably hot” under the tarp, which, I can confirm, was heatstroke under there. What a great place to park people, many of them elderly, for more than three hours! Also, there is no policy preventing fans in the ambulance stands from standing in the eye of the hitter, which, I believe, happens a lot, because people go there to escape the relentless sun. central courtyard. Ushers have a duty to police fans to block the view of people in wheelchairs, but they are often too busy to prevent fans from making beer mug snakes notice.

The complaint goes on to detail all of the other areas of the park where wheelchair seating has been significantly reduced, including places like Hornitos Hacienda, Fannie May Sweet (I know) and Mark Barrel’s Room Producer. The complaint doesn’t address the tricky factor of having every area of ​​your beloved landmark football field named after some courtesy business sponsor.

Furthermore, the complaint alleges that Wrigley also had a number of park seating problems, such as counters, franchises, hand dryers in restrooms, and ticket windows that were too high for people to access. wheelchair accessible, “protruding objects along the roadway” can be a hazard for people with vision problems, and parking lots have loose gravel and other surfaces that cause wheelchairs are almost impossible to navigate. Well, it looks like they prioritized wealthy fans over disabled people when renovating Wrigley.

U.S. attorneys seek settlement in the form of a court order forcing the Cubs to bring all Wrigley Fields into compliance with the ADA, compensating fans affected by the current state of the field, and civil penalties. additions as the United States District Court deems appropriate. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Fitzpatrick told Deadspin, “The Cubs have rebuilt much of Wrigley Field and there are many opportunities — and an important ADA obligation — to incorporate wheelchair seating and other other accessible elements into the update facility. We are committed to ensuring equal access for individuals with disabilities.” Deadspin also reached out to the Cubs for comment.

Who would have seen such blatant ridicule coming from a family that allowed the group to raise two domestic abusers and an openly gay man, who held a fundraiser for Donald Trump at Wrigley Field, and destroy the neighborhood around Wrigley so they can build a hotel and restaurant ball?

However, Deadspin can happily report that many of the elevators that bring rich aficionados to their luxury suites are pristine and always in working condition.

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