I attended the Dallas Cowboys
vs Kansas City Chiefs
game at Aarowhead Stadium
on September 15th as an early birthday present. My friend Carrie (also in a wheelchair), her friend Maria, and my dad attended the game with me. We had great seats in the club level near the end zone. We could see everything on the field and everything around it. The seats were some of the best I have had when it came to seeing a football game. However, I was a little ticked off at how many able bodied people were in this section. Now, I understand that there is a rule out there that the stadium and/or venues can sell those tickets if the game is sold out and those are the only seats available. That’s all fine and good, but Carrie and I went through hell to get the accessible tickets a couple of months ago.
These Cowboys vs Chiefs tickets went on sale on Friday, July 12, 2013 and Carrie and I talked it over and she said she would buy them and I would send her money. She did not get an email back from Ticketmaster
so I sent a ticket request on Ticketmaster. That’s the only way you can request accessible tickets and I got the typical reply that they would get back to me. A short while later I got an email saying there were no accessible tickets available. Carrie and I were heartbroken!
I’m not one to give up so when I got up on Monday I made a call to the accessible number listed on the Kansas City Chiefs
website. I got right through and they connected me with a very nice man that said they had a few accessible tickets left. I was happy and ticked off at this moment in time. I seriously stressed out ALL weekend about missing this game. The Cowboys aren’t within driving distance often so I like to see them when I can.
Back to the able bodied people in our section, I would say half of them were able bodied and not with anyone with a disability. I also saw numerous seats all around the stadium open so the game was not sold out. How do they sell these tickets that fast and then when Carrie and I go to order there are none available via the Internet? If you don’t want us to purchase through Ticketmaster it would be nice if that was IN PRINT
on the website.
And that leads me to my next question – how do they regulate who gets these accessible tickets? They have an attendant take us to our seats, monitor it during the game, but not once did they move the people that could walk normally. Now, I know not all disabilities are visible, but these people were up and down the whole game, high fiving, etc. so mobility was not an issue for them. They could have easily sat in one of the open seats throughout the stadium. It makes me wonder how many disabled people missed out on this game because a) there were none available through Ticketmaster’s website and b) able bodied people were in the accessible section.
And here is my rant about Ticketmaster – why does the disabled population still have to request our tickets and WAIT for someone to email us back on if the seats are available or not? Wasn’t there a lawsuit about this and it was all supposed to be fixed back in 2011? I don’t know the exact details of the Ticketmaster ruling, but so far every stadium and/or venue I have requested accessible tickets for have made me go through the process of requesting and play the waiting game, even a brand new venue that just opened this year. Why is it so difficult for us to purchase our tickets like any other normal human being?
I was hoping to see my Cowboys in Dallas this year, but after numerous ticket requests were denied it doesn’t look like my dream of seeing the new stadium will happen this year. I’m bummed about it, maybe next year.
My question to those reading this – are you having difficulty purchasing accessible tickets? Are able bodied people taking up a big portion of the accessible section? Is Ticketmaster current where you live or behind the times in how you go about purchasing a ticket? I want to know if this is still a common problem and if so what can we do about it? Is this a Ticketmaster issue or an individual venue issue? Comment below and let me know.
© 2013 Kristina Allen