Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Accessibility Review: Comerica Park

Parking at Comerica Park was easy to find right in front of the ballpark. They have a surface lot just for handicap parking. They are not official handicap spots for the most part, but they place cones in every other spot, so actually it is even better than handicap parking spots, since this makes every spot van accessible on both sides. It is not cheap parking at $25, but it was worth the convenience of being right next to the park and the Team Shop (Dad was able to put the souvenirs in the car before the game so we did not have to drag them around).

Getting inside the park is pretty easy, although it seems you have to go through the one that says no bags to be checked through, as all the other areas seemed to have turnstiles. However, they did not even seem to mind other people going through that line and needing their bags checked, since there were not that many people going in at that time.

Getting around the main concourse of the park is pretty easy. There are a few areas that have steps up to (ferris wheel and carousel), but the ramped way up is nearby. Just walking around the park on the first level, though, is rather flat. It is a little hard to navigate through at parts because the concourse is not very big and the crowds were heavy, such as behind the bleachers and by the statues behind center field.

Our seats were located in the upper deck in section 343. The first usher we encountered tried to put us in the wrong seats and was rather clueless, but later the usher from a nearby section came by and said basically that if we needed any further help he would be better able to help. The seats had a great view of the field. The bar in front of us was somewhat in the way, especially since the seats were so far back from it, but mostly it just blocked the view of the foul territory and a little chunk of left field. The view of the scoreboard was awesome, as we were rather close to it, but at a good angle to still be able to see most of it. Just a little bit of the left screen was hard to see, but nothing important was put there.

There were cup holders, but the ones on the bar for wheelchairs blocked the view according to Mik. The other cup holders were in the arm rests and did not work very good since the arm rests were very short and not long ones like in movie theaters. Plus, mine was between me and Mik and Mik kept leaning over and would have certainly knocked the drink over if I had put it there. Thus while it did have cup holders, they were disappointing, especially for it being a newer ballpark. It is just plain sad that Wrigley Field rates higher in the cup holder situation, which is one of Mik's top things he looks for accessibility wise at the seats.

Overall Comerica Park would get a great accessibility rating from us, but the leaving the ballpark situation kind of tainted the feelings about the park. Getting up to the seats on the elevator was not hard, although they did cram in several that were just riding to get to the suite/club level. At the end of the game, however, it became apparent that the elevator situation was not very good because the line for the two elevators was out the door and it did not even look like most of those people really need an elevator. Plus, who knows how many they were letting on at the club level. We decided to take the ramps down, which we found not too bad to do at Wrigley. However, the whole ramp was extremely packed with people. I think it was because we went down the one near the escalators and they did not have the escalators going down. Also, the ramps are probably only half as wide as the ones at Wrigley.

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