Fan Sues Cubs Over Wheelchair Access

Wrigley Park
Charles Rex Arbogast / AP Photo
– Wrigley Park
Construction continues on Wrigley Field’s right field bleachers before a game between the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets in Chicago. The new bleachers are part of the park’s $750 million renovation, which includes a new club and video screen.

A Chicago Cubs fan is suing the baseball team’s owners for renovations to Wrigley Field that have allegedly violated federal law by eliminating an accessible seating area.  

David F. Cerda, 20, says in the lawsuit that Wrigley Field’s $750 million renovation removed wheelchair-accessible sections in the right field bleachers and replaced it with a bar.

Cerda has Muscular Dystrophy and has used a wheelchair since he was 10 years old, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The suit argues the team is violating the Americans With Disabilities Act, contending that the new accessible seating area is located several rows behind home plate, preventing viewers in wheelchairs from seeing the “whole field of play” when spectators in front of them stand up.

The right-field bleachers were torn down with the left-field bleachers in 2014 for a renovation that added 300 seats and a new ticketing area. The left-field bleachers did not have accessible seating before or after the renovation.

There was also an accessible seating area in the first row behind home plate that was moved back several rows. The team is building a 7,200-square-foot “VIP experience” club under the seats between the dugouts and home plate, but the Cubs have not decided whether it will restore the front-row accessible seats, according to the paper.

The lawsuit says that a similar luxury area was built in Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark, and that the park still had accessible wheelchair seating in the front row.

The Cubs just wrapped up the third of what is expected to be a five-year renovation project. Other upgrades include a new video screen in left field, an outdoor plaza and a boutique hotel that is expected to open this year.  

The 42,196-capacity park hosted several acts within the past year, including Lady Gaga, Green Day and Zac Brown Band. The Foo Fighters are slated to play at the venue July 29-30.