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Accessible Stadiums (Key Features)
The ADA requires new stadiums to be accessible to people with disabilities so they, their families, and friends can enjoy equal access to entertainment, recreation, and leisure.
At least one percent of the seating must be wheelchair accessible.
Accessible seating must be an integral part of the seating plan so that people using wheelchairs are not isolated from family and friends.
A companion seat must be provided next to each wheelchair seating location and wheelchair seating locations must be provided in all areas, including sky boxes and specialty areas. Folding seats can be used in wheelchair seating locations when the area isn't needed by a person using a wheelchair.
Wheelchair seating locations must be on an accessible route, providing access from parking and transportation areas and connect to all public areas, including restaurants, concessions, restrooms, public telephones and exits.
Wheelchair seating locations must provide lines of sight comparable to those provided to other spectators. In addition to wheelchair seating locations, at least one percent of all fixed seats in all seating areas must be aisle seats with no armrest, or with a removable or folding armrest on the aisle side to accommodate people with limited mobility who do not use wheelchairs.
An accessible route must connect the wheelchair seating locations with the stage(s), performing areas, arena or stadium floor, dressing or locker rooms, and other spaces used by performers.
All concessions, including food service areas, restaurants, and souvenir stands, must be accessible. For example, lowered counters must be provided where goods are provided and where cash registers are located. Condiments and self-serve food items must be provided within reach of a person using a wheelchair.
Access to Playing Fields, Lockers, and Spaces Used by Players and Performers
An accessible route must provide access to all public and common-use areas including the playing field, locker rooms, dugouts, stages, swimming pools and warm-up areas. The accessible route provides access for the public, employees and athletes using the facility.
Assistive Listening Features
When audible communications are integral to the use of a stadium, assistive listening systems are required for people who are hard of hearing. These systems amplify sound and deliver it to a special receiver that is worn by the spectator or spectator's hearing aid, depending on the type of system used. The stadium must provide receivers for the assistive listening system. The number of available receivers must equal four percent of the total number of seats.
Signs must be provided to notify spectators of the availability of receivers for the assistive listening system.
Other Accessibility Features
When parking spaces are provided, accessible parking spaces for cars and vans are required and they must be the closest spaces to the accessible entrances and must be on an accessible route.
If passenger drop-off areas are provided, they must be accessible and an accessible route must connect each accessible drop-off area with an accessible entrance(s). Curb ramps must be provided if the drop off area is next to a curb.
At least 50 percent of the entrances must be accessible. Those that are not accessible must have signs directing the public to the nearest accessible entrance.
Accessible entrances that have turnstiles must also have an accessible gate or door.
Each public and common-use (including employee) restroom must be accessible. This includes rest rooms in work areas and rest rooms located in skyboxes and suites.
Each bank of public telephones must contain at least one or more wheelchair accessible telephone, which must have the ability to amplify the volume at the handset. A sign must identify telephones equipped with amplification.
At least one public TDD (telecommunications device for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech impairments) must be provided. Signs must identify the location of the TDD and provide direction from other telephone banks.
For each bank of public telephones with three or more units, at least one telephone must be equipped with a shelf and electrical outlet to permit a person to use a portable TDD.
Water Coolers or Drinking Fountains
Drinking fountains must accommodate people who use wheelchairs and people who stand but have difficulty bending or stooping. Half of the unit must be wheelchair accessible and the others must accommodate standing users.
Where audible fire alarms or emergency notification is provided, flashing lights are required in public and common use areas, including toilet and bathrooms, and along public corridors.
Signs that identify permanent rooms and spaces, such as those identifying rest rooms, exits or room numbers, must have Braille and raised letters or numbers so that they may be read visually or tactually (by feeling the numbers with one's fingers). They must also meet specific requirements for mounting location, color contrast, and non-glare surface. Signs that provide direction to, or information about functional spaces must only comply with requirements for character proportion, character height and finish, and contrast between the characters and background.
ADA Information Line
For more information about the ADA's design and construction requirements as well as the 2010 Revisions, contact the Department of Justice's toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 (voice), and (800) 514-0383 (TDD). Detailed requirements can be found in the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. The ADA Standards and other useful technical assistance documents are available from the ADA Information Line.