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Red Rocks overcharged for wheelchair-accessible seats, Justice Department says

Between 2018 and 2020, "concertgoers who used wheelchairs, and their guests, were charged $47,950.90 more for those seats than was permitted by ADA regulations."
Credit: Jon - stock.adobe.com

DENVER — The U.S. Justice Department said Monday that it settled a lawsuit against the City and County of Denver, Red Rocks and concert promoters after the agency said they overcharged for wheelchair-accessible seats at the venue.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said it settled the discrimination claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) against the City and County of Denver and concert promoters Live Nation, AEG, and PBS12.

A complaint was filed with the Department of Justice that claimed wheelchair-accessible seats for concerts held at Red Rocks Amphitheatre were more expensive than tickets for non-accessible seats.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the practice violated the ADA by charging more for wheelchair-accessible seats than was allowed under ADA regulations.

There are 121 wheelchair-accessible seats available for each Red Rocks event.

The Justice Department alleged that between 2018 and 2020, "concertgoers who used wheelchairs, and their guests, were charged $47,950.90 more for those seats than was permitted by ADA regulations."

That works out to 1,817 tickets at 178 events held at Red Rocks, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

While the Justice Department said the agreement "is not an admission of any violation or liability by the City and County of Denver," Denver agreed to set aside $47,950.90 to be refunded to people who were overcharged for wheelchair-accessible tickets.

“Red Rocks is an iconic concert venue, and people with disabilities who attend events and watch their favorite bands there should not be unfairly overcharged for wheelchair-accessible seating,” U.S. Attorney Matt Kirsch in a news release. “This agreement reflects our commitment to enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires equal treatment for people with disabilities.” 

Denver has since implemented a system to ensure that wheelchair-accessible tickets are priced in accordance with ADA regulations, and concert promoters Live Nation, AEG, and PBS12 each paid a civil penalty to the United States. 

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