Lincoln Financial Field Has Not Responded To My Complaint Of Discrimination

First, if you haven’t read about Lincoln Financial Field (LFF) not following ADA laws, you can read about it here.


4/21/16 UPDATE: I received an email today from Aileen Dagrosa (also, Mary from LFF had previously given me an incorrect spelling of Aileen’s last name):

Mr. Murphy:

We received your emails.  However, since you have filed a complaint with the Department of Justice, we cannot communicate with you on this matter at this time.

Regards,

Aileen Dagrosa

AILEEN DAGROSA

Senior Vice President, General Counsel  |  Philadelphia Eagles


Basically, a group of us needed to buy pre-sale tickets for accessible seating, but LFF and Ticketmaster told us that accessible seating was not available during pre-sale. A clear violation of ADA regulations.

Lincoln Financial Field, courtesy of incolnfinancialfield.com
Lincoln Financial Field, from lincolnfinancialfield.com

Here’s what I’ve done since that debacle:

  • I called the ADA hotline, told my story, and was able to confirm that I do understand the ADA ticketing laws correctly. A representative told me that Ticketmaster also “may have some obligations.”
  • I filed a complaint with the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. From there, the DoJ says it may take up to three months for them to contact me about the next steps.
  • On 3/9/16, I sent LFF an email explaining the story and asking for a response from a PR representative. After six calendar days, I didn’t get a reply to my email.
  • Then I called LFF and (after a couple phone calls) a “mainline” operator named Mary said she checked with the customer service. Mary said she believes they forwarded my email to Aileen Degrossa, General Council in the Legal Department (unfortunately, with the information I had, they were not able to track down the original call where we tried to get the tickets).
  • I sent a follow-up email 3/19/16, ATTN: Aileen Degrossa, and have yet to hear back from anyone.

So now, we wait.

We wait for the DoJ to respond to me. We wait to see if LFF will get back to me, and we wait to see if they take responsibility.

On Accessible Seating, Is Lincoln Financial Field Breaking The Law?

First, let me just say: I’m not a lawyer.

But to me, the laws on ticket sales for ADA (“accessible” or “handicap”) seating read straight-forward.

“Venues are required to sell tickets for accessible seats in the same manner and under the same conditions as all other ticket sales. Tickets for accessible seats must be sold…during the same stages of sales (pre-sales…) as non-accessible seats.” – ada.gov

Here’s what happened.

My wife was in charge of reserving pre-sale Coldplay tickets for a group of us, including my brother Ian, who uses a wheelchair. The concert is at Lincoln Financial Field (LFF) and tickets are also available through Ticketmaster.

She found that ADA seating was not available during pre-sale. Both Ticketmaster and LFF told her this. Legally, Ticketmaster may be off the hook because the law says “venues,” not “third parties.” So LFF is the one in trouble.


 

Screenshot 2016-01-30 10.44.01
Accessible seating not listed on map. Button at top right is for ADA seating requests, which prompts an automated email.

Let’s talk about Ticketmaster first. Even if they’re not legally responsible for selling pre-sale ADA seats, it’s unethical and discriminatory not to.


 

Screenshot 2016-01-30 11.21.36
Email from TM to my wife

My wife posted on Ticketmaster’s Facebook page, tweeted at them, and got no response. At the same time, she was making phone calls.

Hours later, she got the tickets through LFF, which probably makes them legally protected too.


 

ticketmaster_fbscreenshot
FB user’s name and locations hidden for privacy

Screen shot 2016-01-29 at 1.38.49 PM


The problem is that it’s a hassle for folks who need ADA seating to get their tickets, and it’s not just at LFF. This is a common occurrence (see the Facebook comments above).

To me, it feels like Ticketmaster and LFF are saying, “You’re in a wheelchair? Oh, you have to wait in line behind all of the able-bodied people.”

To me, they’re ableists (for another example, see here).

Why can’t people who need accessible seating buy tickets when everybody else does instead of waiting an extra week?

Do those people have fewer rights?