Monday, June 15, 2009

Accessibility Review: Kauffman Stadium

Parking at Kauffman Stadium was pretty easy and there seemed to be a decent amount of handicap spots in the front row of each parking lot. From there to the stadium is not very well planned, though. About every other van accessible spot has a path leading to the street that goes in front of the stadium. There is no cut out up to this path and then none when you get to the street. Then when you get across the street there also is not a cut out, but it is a rounded curb. There is a cutout way at the corner of the parking lot, but it is literally at the corner and not at the side of the corner where the crosswalk is even located. It is not that big of an inconvenience for Dad pushing Mik, as he can do the curbs, but it is kind of annoying that they seem to have paths right by almost every handicap spot, however, the paths are truly only built for those not in wheelchairs or walkers.

Getting into the park was pretty easy. The security person looked through our bag and then led us to the gate on the side of the turnstiles. We then went to the inside side of the turnstiles to have our tickets scanned. We were early and they only had one person scanning tickets, but I imagine closer to game time they have someone actually at the gate scanning tickets instead of having you back track to get them scanned, as that would be annoying with crowds coming in.

Getting to our seats was not too hard, but finding the elevator kind of was. The guy at the escalator just said there were next to each spiral ramp and we got there and it did not seem to be there. Problem was that it was on the far side of the spiral ramp from where we were and it is sort of hidden at least on the concourse level. It seems obvious when you are on the upper level and if you go straight to it from the gate entrance, but from the main concourse it is not quite so obvious. The elevator is rather small and getting more than one wheelchair group at a time was pretty much impossible, but at least they did not have fans that did not need it trying to get on.

Our seats were in section 411. They were on the third base side and in the upper deck above the visitor’s dugout. The view was great. We could see the whole field for the most part. Dad said nothing blocked his view and Mik had no trouble either because he could roll right up to the bar. Unless I leaned forward the bar blocked the third base line for me, but that is not too much of an inconvenience and at least the wheelchair seats worked for Mik, who actually watched a good part of the game since it was too sunny to play his PSP. There were no cup holders, but this is an older park and no one had cup holders, so Mik did not feel cheated. However, it is kind of sad they are just about to finish their remodel by reopening their Hall of Fame on the left field concourse in July 2009 and their remodel did not include adding cup holders.

Overall Kauffman rates as one of the more accessibly enjoyable parks, especially since the staff was helpful besides the sort of clueless escalator guy. The getting from the parking lot to the stadium is annoying, but at least almost everything else is well done. The only other thing we found not the best was the MLB 2K9 area, which had the computer screens at bar stool height tables and the only ones at easy wheelchair height were at the big screen that was hogged by another kid and probably usually is hogged because it has really comfy lazy boys to sit in while playing. The controllers from the computer screens did reach down for Mik to play, but it is not the best angle to look at the screen to play.

No comments: