Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Accessibility Review: AT&T Park

Parking at AT&T Park was really annoying since we arrived about four hours before the game. The parking lot did not have anything blocking you from going in, but also had no one taking money. We found the handicap parking, but were not sure what to do because it was suposedly a permitted parking lot along with being the lot for handicap parking and across the waterway from the park. We ended up getting a parking pass off of a scalper that instantly hounded us when we pulled up. It ended up working out and we saved $4, but I would not trust it under normal circumstances and would have felt better if we had been giving our money to those actually in charge of the parking lot.

Parking might have been annoying, but the actual park experience was quite the opposite. While waiting in line for the park to open one of the Giants staff actually pulled us out of the normal line and showed us over to line up by the gate that opens for wheelchairs to avoid the turnstile entrances. We entered through the O'Doul Gate, which has steps right after you enter, but to the left there is an elevator. We then headed to the bleacher section that our tickets were in to find that we had to go back down to our seats.

A very helpful usher not only told us how to go down to our seats, but actually escorted us the whole way to them. The handicap seats in the bleachers at the Giants turned out to be in front of the bleacher section right against the outfield wall compared to up at the top of the bleacher section like at the Oakland Coliseum. Dad and I thought these seats were awesome and a nice barrier free view of the park. Mik did not exactly like them, though, because it was very much so in a spot a home run ball could possibly come right at you and he was nervous about getting hit by a ball, although really the outfielder would probably have caught any ball that came right at us and any home run ball would have probably gone over his head.

At the end of the game we exited the park on the level we sat on, as the right field gate was on that level. We then just walked along the boardwalk on the outside of the park to get back to the bridge and the across to the car avoiding the whole going up and down the elevators route we had taken to get to our seats.

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