Saturday, June 6, 2009

Accessibility Review: U.S. Cellular Field

We did not end up finding the handicap parking at U.S. Cellular Field, but it still worked out great. We ended up in Lot B in the first row, which is all ramped up to the plaza, so no curb. Also, the spots are not lined and they direct you into them. Dad went wide to give room by Mik's side and the parking attendant was fine with that, especially since he saw the handicap placard. Before he directed the next car to park next to us he also checked to make sure we did not need extra room on that side of the car. So no handicap spot, but still very friendly in being accommodated.

We parked near Gate 5 and had to walk a little around to get to the handicap entrance at Gate 4, but I am glad we had to, as that is a way cooler entrance. The entrance is mostly just for Media and wheelchairs, but I think also the suites. Anyways outside it is a cool sculpture of players and small poles with the White Sox's retired numbers, so even if you are not eligible to go in through this gate it is a must see entrance. Inside the gate is cool, too, as the room by the elevators has the Sox's World Series trophy, a Sox decorated Statue of Liberty sculpture, and some other interesting Sox displays.

We sat in the wheelchair part of Section 108. The section is located at the top of the section and every spot is made for wheelchairs, so Dad and I ended up with folding chairs, but they were nice ones and not crappy like at the Dodgers. Also, the section had a wall along the back, so no people crowding in the area that did not have tickets, although before the game the seat vendors were grouped in the area.

Mik was happy that the seats had cup holders for everyone. The cup holders were even at a great height for him to reach without it being too low or too high. The bar that was in front of the section was also nice and low and did not get in the way of the view at all. There is an overhang over the section, but the only thing it kept us from seeing was the fireworks go off above the scoreboard. We still could totally see the scoreboards, though. Only issue was that the foul pole was in the line of sight, but that is only an issue of this section on the first base side and one section on the 3rd base side.

Overall this was one of the best accessible parks so far. All the well designed and friendly accommodations make up for the poor choice of section we ended up stuck in with the foul pole obstruction because we asked for the cheapest seats. Next (not that there will be a next time, as it is the Sox after all), we know to ask for the next section over or at least any other sections besides the two with the foul pole obstructions. The next one over would be pretty ideal for many, though, as a family restroom is located right behind section 108.

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