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UC to add more ADA compliant seating at Nippert Stadium following discrimination dispute

a horseshoe shaped football stadium packed with fans
Andrew Higley
/
University of Cincinnati
Flynn and his son say they ran into multiple ADA issues at Nippert Stadium when they attended the UC v UCLA game in September 2019.

Former Cincinnati Council member Kevin Flynn says he's reached a deal with UC and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. Flynn filed a complaint against UC in 2021 over a lack of accessibility at Nippert Stadium.

Flynn first brought up the issue after attending the UC v. UCLA football game in September 2019.

“The purchase of tickets was available for all seats in Nippert except for accessible seating and even at the Will Call window, no accessible seats were made available,” he says in a statement. “My son had to stand for the entire game because the companion seat was occupied.”

Flynn says he tried to get UC to fix the problems on their own.

“I tried to resolve this informally through a letter to the Board of Trustees, to President Pinto, and to the UC Athletic Director to no avail,” he writes. “I assumed that this was an oversight during the planning of the renovation and, although disappointing, I expected that the University would remedy the situation quickly, once I brought it to their attention."

He says that did not happen and he filed a formal complaint in 2021.

In the complaint he noted access to accessible seating tickets online or in person was limited. Flynn uses a motorized wheelchair. He also says the number of accessible seats did not comply with state or federal law, despite millions of dollars of renovations to the football stadium.

Under the agreement, UC will add more than 100 wheelchair spaces along with companion seats in time for the 2024 season; maintain online ticketing for accessible seating comparable to ticketing for other seating; and implement ADA training for stadium staff.

The agreement says the changes will bring the total number of accessible seats at Nippert Stadium to 200.

WVXU has requested comment from UC.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.