Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


This note deals with the problem of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in sports and entertainment venues. The beginning of the note briefly describes the scope of the ADA and the meaning of the provisions which are relevant to the problem of public entertainment facilities. It also discusses the remedies that the ADA offers in such accommodation situations. After this overview of the ADA's theoretical application, the note then looks at the ADA in actual practice and whether it has actually caused sports and entertainment facilities to adequately accommodate disabled patrons. An examination of some prominent cases suggests that many venues, while often partially or technically in compliance with the Act, have used remedial methods which do not actually give the disabled equal access or enjoyment or entertainment events, often by relegating the disabled accommodations to second-quality areas of the venue. After identifying this problem, the note suggests possible solutions to the status quo of unsatisfactory accommodation, including an alteration in the number of wheelchair accessible locations, the use of portable chairs to allow for flexibility in accommodating the disabled, and a focus on creating "enhanced sightlines," which would bring venues closer to compliance with the spirit of the ADA's protective measures.