Admit All is The Play Brigade’s initiative to highlight and advocate for inclusive entertainment opportunities for people with disabilities. We are in the midst of completing our year-long study of Boston-area entertainment venues and their accessibility and compiling a report to share with venue directors to improve access to accessible ticket sales, make available better seating options for those with disabilities, and increase participation in recreation by members of the disability community and their friends and families.
Taylor Swift fan says handicap accessible tickets were not available on Ticketmaster presale
By Mike Sullivan, WBZ-TV
DIGHTON – Taylor Swift fans looking for handicap accessible seating say they are getting blocked out of her concert by Ticketmaster.
“I had a presale code, and I was eager to try to get tickets for presale,” said Jessica Rogers, who went to her concert at Gillette Stadium in 2011, and is in a wheelchair. “The toggle on the website where you would slide over to select accessible tickets was grayed out, so not even an option to buy wheelchair accessible tickets.”
Rogers has been in a wheelchair for 20 years following a car accident in 2002. Her vehicle hydroplaned and rolled over.
“When you are able to buy a wheelchair accessible ticket you are allowed to get one companion ticket,” Rogers continued. “At most you can purchase two companion, so if you have more than two friends or family they can’t go with you. When you are disabled, you can only have so many friends and family.”
Now that the general sale of tickets has been cancelled, those fans want to know who got those ADA seats? Rogers fears they were sold to people who don’t need them.
In the past, Ticketmaster faced a lawsuit from the Department of Justice regarding ADA seating. In the agreement, Ticketmaster said they would change numerous policies, including making a reasonable effort to obtain handicap accessible seating.
“This is a Department of Justice issue. This is an ADA issue, or the Office of Civil Rights,” said Dawn Oates, founder of The Play Brigade, a non-profit that advocates for the inclusion of people with disabilities in play, recreation and sports.
“For seven years I have not once been able to use a presale code to buy accessible seats. You would think it would be pretty easy for anybody to just go onto Ticketmaster and click seats. See all of the accessible seats, and that is not the case. It varies show to show, venue to venue.”
Now the re-sale market is taking advantage of it.
“I went onto StubHub to see if I could purchase accessible tickets there, and there were three tickets available. One was set for $2000 for an ADA ticket,” Rogers said.
WBZ reached out to Ticketmaster for comment, but have yet to hear from the company. The Massachusetts Attorney General is looking into one complaint of ADA seating issues with Ticketmaster and the concert.