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March 10, 2008
Detroit, Michigan - After a series of ongoing discussions, with the University of Michigan, the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America and the United States Department of Justice agreed today on a plan to enhance wheelchair accessibility at Michigan Stadium. U.S. District Court Judge Sean Cox today signed a Consent Decree that orders the parties to uphold their agreement.
"We are pleased that the University was able to work with plaintiffs and their counsel to develop what we believe to be a positive result for all without the necessity of further proceedings," said University of Michigan Interim Vice President and General Counsel Gloria Hage.
"The Veterans will now have the agreement they have wanted since the beginning of this case. Disabled fans will be able to watch games at Michigan Stadium with the same level of enjoyment as other fans, in the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act," said Richard Bernstein, attorney for the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America.
The new resolution will improve and enhance the University’s long standing commitment to accessibility for patrons with mobility impairments at Michigan Stadium. Starting with the 2008 football season, 96 new accessible seats, plus seats for companions, will be available along the east side of the Stadium at Row 54.
With the addition of these new seating areas, together with others to be added by the start of the 2010 season, at least 329 accessible seats, plus companion seats, will be available in a number of different areas of the Stadium Bowl, offering disabled patrons greater choice of locations, ticket prices, and viewing angles.
In addition, University architects, working closely with the Plaintiffs and their architects, have made plans to enhance accessibility of parking, access routes, restrooms, concessions, and other amenities over the next three years. The new plans will be incorporated into work already under way to enhance the accessibility of Michigan Stadium and improve the game day experience for all fans.
"Michigan Stadium should be a place of pride for all residents of Michigan and alumni. We hope, with this agreement, that it will also be able to serve as a model for the rest of the nation on how disabled fans can be accommodated," added Bernstein.
"We have always sought to provide the best possible game-day experience for all of our loyal football fans," said William C. Martin, University Athletic Director. "This agreement is an important step toward achieving that goal."
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