Safely Spectating Sports

Wheelchair Basketball Game with Disabled Men on a Court
October 5, 2021 | Categories: Disabled Youth , Life In A Wheelchair , Safety ,

With the return of the school sports season, as well as beloved fall professional games, you may be ready to get back to cheering on your favorite teams in person. Here are some suggestions for how you can do so, considering physical access and safety from COVID-19.

  1. Ask ahead

Call the ticket office to ask about their designated accessible seating section. Ask about wheelchair ramps, pathways, accessible bathrooms, and parking. Find out how early you can arrive at the stadium, and be sure to ask about the COVID restrictions that are (or are not) in place.

The ADA requires that three additional seats must be available for purchase in the same row as an accessible seat for companions of the disabled spectator. Make sure to enquire about any needed seats for your friends and family. And accessible tickets must be available for the same price as non-accessible seats in the same section. If you are attending a smaller venue that doesn’t have ticketed seating, ask if the needed seats can be blocked off or reserved for you and your party.

  1. Look at a venue map

Before leaving for the game, plan out your course of travel. Seek out which parking section is closest to your seats, plan the route from your vehicle to your seats, from your seats to the concessions, and from your seats to the bathrooms. Determine if a travel ramp will be needed to navigate any curbs you may encounter. Figuring out the most direct paths (or simply the most accessible) ahead of time can prevent delays or the need to backtrack. Not everyone at the venue may know the location for all wheelchair ramps and accessible routes, so taking a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the venue will come in handy.

  1. Avoid crowds, even outdoors

According to current medical research, combining mitigation factors, including vaccination, social distancing, and masking is the best way to prevent contracting and having a serious case of coronavirus. Still, if you are immunosuppressed or have a variety of mitigating health factors, follow your doctor’s advice on the best way for you to reduce your risks.

  1. Make new traditions

If you’re unable to, or uncomfortable with, mixing with crowds in a stadium, there are other ways for you to enjoy the fall sports you love. Some ideas are:

  1. Tailgating in the parking lot during a game.
  2. Renting a private viewing box and limiting attendees to those in your bubble.
  3. Setting up a projector screen outside your house and enjoying all your favorite game-day foods.

Whether you’re ready to get back to the stands or are looking for new ways to cheer on your favorite teams, we hope these tips get you ready to enjoy fall sports!

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