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Disabled activists sue over Red Rocks seating

A new lawsuit alleges people with disabilities are being shut out of the Denver amphitheatre, which makes two of its 70 rows disabled-accessible

By IQ on 07 Dec 2016

Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver, Jesse Goodier

image © Jesse Goodier

A coalition of Coloradan disability-rights activists are suing the city of Denver for alleged discrimination, claiming they are being denied “meaningful access” to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

The lawsuit, filed in the US district court of Colorado, says the ticketing and seating policies of the 9,525-capacity venue, owned and operated by the city, “make it very difficult for such patrons [disabled people] to purchase tickets in the approximately one-half of the accessible seats located at the front of the amphitheater [sic].”

Red Rocks (pictured) currently only makes rows one and 70 accessible for those with disabilities due to “ticketing procedures”.

“”I know a lot of people are coming in fraudulently, buying the front row seats”

One of the plaintiffs, Frank Mango, says he dislikes sitting in 70, the final row, and that the first row is almost always sold out at face value. He tells Colorado’s 9News: “I know that’s a lot of people coming in fraudulently, buying the front row seats. That’s one of the biggest concerns: […] when I get to Red Rocks, they’re not going to question me whether or not I need those seats or not for disability.”

The suit, brought by Disability Law Colorado, the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, asks the city to clearly mark the disabled-accessible rows, similar to parking spaces. The plaintiffs also seek to restrict use of the venue’s shuttle for those with disabilities to genuinely disabled customers.

Brian Kitts, a spokesman for Red Rocks, tells 9News, “if it helps”, the venue would be “happy to do that [mark accessible seats”, but adds: “In my gut, I’m not sure that marking those as handicapped seats does anything except change the semantics.”

 


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