In its first football season since a legal battle over wheelchair-accessible seats was settled, the University of Michigan is reporting that nearly all such seats were sold at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. A settlement last year calls for 329 accessible seats, with 329 companion seats, by the 2010 season; so far, there are 184 available pairs in the stadium.
To read The Detroit Free Press article, click here.
EARLIER: When the University of Michigan Wolverines opened the football season in August, the school's stadium in Ann Arbor had space to accommodate more than 180 wheelchair users and their companions. Click here to read the AS&U magazine article.
FROM MARCH 2008: The University of Michigan's football stadium will have at least 329 wheelchair-accessible seats scattered throughout its bowl area by the kickoff of the 2010 football season. Those are the numbers that have helped settle a lawsuit that the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America brought against the university. Changes will begin with the next season, when 96 new accessible seats plus seats for companions will be available along the east side of the stadium. The deal also calls for the university to make parking and restrooms accessible to wheelchairs. (Detroit Free Press)
FROM NOVEMBER 2007: Lawyers for the U.S. Department of Justice will head to court Wednesday to join a group of disabled veterans in their lawsuit against the University of Michigan. They contend that the school is breaking federal law by failing to provide sufficient seating for disabled patrons at the university's football stadium in Ann Arbor. The Big House, as the stadium is commonly known, has 88 wheelchair seating areas and a capacity of more than 107,000. The veterans contend the law calls for 1 percent of all seating -- or more than 1,000 seats -- to be accessible for disabled patrons. The Justice Department action comes after mediation attempts with the university failed. (Detroit News)
EARLIER: Responding to pressure from disabled veterans, faculty and the U.S. government, the University of Michigan is proposing a six-fold increase in the number of wheelchair-accessible seats at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. The plan would boost the number of seats for disabled patrons from 90 to 592 by 2010. It is unclear whether the federal government will accept the proposal, but the disabled veterans who sued the university over accessibility concerns say that the school has not gone far enough and that they will push forward with their lawsuit. (Detroit News)
The University of Michigan's football stadium in Ann Arbor is violating federal law requiring accessibility for those with disabilities despite the university's insistence otherwise, according to a U.S. Department of Education report. The university risks losing federal funding until it brings the stadium into compliance, according to the Department of Education. The report also is likely to come into play in a lawsuit over seating filed on behalf of a disabled veterans group. (Detroit Free Press)
Stephen M. Ross, University of Michigan alumnus and prominent real estate developer, donated $5 million for the expansion of the school's football stadium in Ann Arbor. The university is planning a $226 million renovation project at the stadium. When completed, it will have 83 luxury suites and 3,200 club seats. Total capacity will reach 108,000. (Detroit News)
The University of Michigan Board of Regents have approved a $226 million renovation to the school's football stadium in Ann Arbor. The approval provides some resolution following months of passionate debate over altering the nation's largest college football stadium. The project has drawn the ire of some fans because it calls for the creation of 83 luxury suites, which many say takes away from the egalitarian spirit of the stadium's original design. It's also prompted a federal lawsuit by a group of disabled veterans who say it doesn't provide enough wheelchair seating. (Detroit News)