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Thread: concert venues and accessible seating questions and experiences

  1. #1

    Question concert venues and accessible seating questions and experiences

    Last month, I went to see some blues legends at a club in Boston and was kind of confused and slightly aggravated by how the venue handled accessible seating. This was a recently constructed building and I was only allowed to purchase two tickets, one for myself and one for a companion. However, it was a family celebration and I tried to pick up a few extra tickets for guests and whatnot. Once I was at the show I was completely segregated from my friends and family and was placed in this "handicapped" designated area that was divided from the general audience by ropes.
    Many people in this designated area did not appear to have many handicaps, I was the only one in a wheelchair out of probably 20 people. So I was wondering if others have had similar experiences and if there are certain ADA regulations that would require certain venues to allow citizens to purchase more than just two tickets. In many ways I felt like a second-class citizen, because I was unable to sit or hang out with family and friends. Any able-bodied could purchase their 4-8 tickets and hang out wherever their designated section is.

    Are there any ways or any tricks people have found to score tickets for both themselves and others? Looking for some ideas to level the playing field so that I can hopefully have a good time this summer at an outdoor venue.

  2. #2
    I've had it happen. Sorry it happened to you. Worst of all is if you're a parent and your kids are sitting with all the potheads at a Pearl Jam concert, or the drunks at a Chiefs game.

    It does make you feel less-than, and ruins the party for you. It really does.

  3. #3
    Doh.. sorry Beth. Yeah, half of the fun of going to shows is being with those you care about or who have you good time with.
    Last edited by Chaz19; 03-14-2009 at 07:24 PM.

  4. #4
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    Crip Seating

    Recently at an Aiken Community Band concert held at the University of South Carolina at Aiken we were sold three seats together. Problem being they were in mid row, I could not get to them. Management brought folding chairs for wife and daughter that were not a comfy as those we purchased, but at least we were together.

    Too often I find accommodations for chair users are an after thought, and not well thought out at all.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member SymKat's Avatar
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    I was surprised and happy to find the 'handicap' area in Seattle at the Key Arena, right up front, on the left side. In Portland at the Rose Garden the main HC seating was about 25 rows back. Difficult to see from there, but not too bad. The HC seating at Radio City Music Hall sux, and was all scattered about in many locations, none with good visability. Arco Arena in Sacramento has limited HC seating as does whatever name it has now in Oakland. The Pepsi Center did ok, and Milwaukee...I forget the arena name.. it was .. so so.
    The Nokia in Dallas is a wonderful theater venue, but I attended a concert there, and the elevators were down, so was the HC Chair lift, and I could walk the stairs but one of the women in our group couldn't make it up the two flights .. and we had $500 tickets purchased a year in advance, and front row seats. So she saw the concert, but could not attend the Meet & Greet.

    It has been my experience that most places to have seating set aside for handicap needs. By nature of setting up early, most cannot mix those seats with regular seats. I think HC seating should be up front but sad to say most venues are not that kind.

    I would make my complaints and suggestions in writting to the venue, to the performers and to the news papers.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by SymKat View Post
    at Radio City Music Hall sux, and was all scattered about in many locations.
    I just went right before Christmas this past year with my wife and got front row granted they cost $250 each ticket, but it was well worth it.

    Chaz19
    Last month, I went to see some blues legends at a club in Boston and was kind of confused and slightly aggravated by how the venue handled accessible seating. This was a recently constructed building and I was only allowed to purchase two tickets, one for myself and one for a companion. However, it was a family celebration and I tried to pick up a few extra tickets for guests and whatnot. Once I was at the show I was completely segregated from my friends and family and was placed in this "handicapped" designated area that was divided from the general audience by ropes.
    If you don't mind me asking where was this in Boston, we go in not a lot but we do go in so I would like the heads up if you don't mind.
    Tough Times Don't Last...Tough People Do!

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcechser View Post
    I just went right before Christmas this past year with my wife and got front row granted they cost $250 each ticket, but it was well worth it.

    Chaz19
    If you don't mind me asking where was this in Boston, we go in not a lot but we do go in so I would like the heads up if you don't mind.
    Same here. Not often but Boston or the Cambridge area.

    In DC, at whatever they call the MCI Center now you have to go through Ticketron or whoever and then they give you the ADA line. Seating for a Madonna concert (Todd would love this) was all ours on one side. They created mezzanines that are like balconies with great sight lines and good acoustics. Normal cost for that seating area and after giving the infof on the two of us I was asked for the next person so I think companions depend on how many wheelers have alreaady bought tickets for their group. I also saw a few wheelers up against the stage next to some folding chairs. I assume these are friends of hers or the band's. Oh, wonderful underground parking reserved by burly guys who checked plates or plaque dates.

    Madison Square Garden in NYC had us in an aisle seat for me (no chair there) and a folding padded seat for Jay in the walkway back to the concessions. Limit here would be one companion or I think the fire marshall would have fits. It is an old place and they have to employ a lift (manned during events) to reach floor level events like the B & B Circus.

    Raven Stadium or whatever they call it in Baltimore is a jug muck. I tried to buy 14 tickets for an office thing and I could get me and 3 others on the same row NOT in the shade. I specifically requested the remaining seats be directly behind us as a group of military people. Well, come game day and the remaining seats were 14 seats behind us and more. HP parking was taken or overrun by limos very early so glad we were there to tailgate early. These tickets were part of a pre-season buy in for season ticket holders so this was inexcusable.

    I'd try calling United Spinal or the PVA for access to stadiums or atheletic field problems as they have stopped builds in the past with court orders just on bad sight lines.

    $250? Might Google up the Virginia Spinal Cord Registery folks. They have a thick booklet that includes rates at different NYC venues that are normally discounted for wheelers, where the bathrooms are and if they share an accessible bathroom with a neighboring theater or restaurant.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  8. #8
    Senior Member SymKat's Avatar
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    [quote=rcechser;1014918]I just went right before Christmas this past year with my wife and got front row granted they cost $250 each ticket, but it was well worth it.

    I was on the floor, orchestra seating, but a man who went with us, had to sit in the 1st mezzanine. This was for an Andre Rieu concert, and I don't want to say what I paid for the ticket, as it was a crime! (cool thing is we are on the DVD so we can sort of re-live the event)

    I flew from Calie to NY to see the show and it was well worth it, but I wish they could have added our HC man to our aisle.

    Were your seats HC? Or did they assist with wheelchair transfer to seat? I wonder as I would like to go see the Christmas show in NY and take Charles with me, but I would want him to be able to sit with our group and not off by himself somewhere.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by rcechser View Post
    I just went right before Christmas this past year with my wife and got front row granted they cost $250 each ticket, but it was well worth it.

    Chaz19
    If you don't mind me asking where was this in Boston, we go in not a lot but we do go in so I would like the heads up if you don't mind.
    The new House of Blues. Maybe they will work something out once they have a few more shows under their belt. The venue just opened literally a month or so ago -- maybe they need to work out the bugs. I wrote them a letter hopefully it will open their minds.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Pendleton View Post

    Madison Square Garden in NYC had us in an aisle seat for me (no chair there) and a folding padded seat for Jay in the walkway back to the concessions. Limit here would be one companion or I think the fire marshall would have fits. It is an old place and they have to employ a lift (manned during events) to reach floor level events like the B & B Circus.
    Thanks for the heads up on MSG. I haven't been there since I was injured. What about the Beacon theater? I'm slowly making my way through the venues in the Boston area so if anyone has questions hit me up. The FleetCenter/TD Banknorth Garden Is a good take. The Worcester Centrum/DCU center is a mess. Foxboro Stadium/Gillette is an easy and solid place to go.......

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