Chicago’s U.S. Attorney Office is suing the Cubs over the renovations of Wrigley Field, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The suit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in the city.
The suit alleges the Cubs, in their multi-year “1060 Project,” failed to “ensure that recent additions and alterations at Wrigley Field are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, as required by Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.”
"Although this project significantly enhanced the gameday experience for many fans, particularly those able to take advantage of premium clubs and other luxury accommodations, the same cannot be said for fans with disabilities," the suit reads.
The lawsuit says the Cubs failed to remove architectural barriers at Wrigley where possible, failed to incorporate wheelchair seating into new premium clubs and group seating areas, and designed wheelchair seating in the last row of general admission seating that “does not meet the requirements of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design.”
The 1060 Project started after the 2014 season.
“The Cubs rebuilt much of Wrigley Field and had ample opportunity – and a significant ADA obligation – to incorporate wheelchair seating and other accessible elements into the updated facility,” U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John R. Lausch, Jr. said in a statement.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office remains committed to ensuring equal accessibility for individuals with disabilities.”
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke added that the Justice Department plans to "vigorously enforce the law to ensure that fans with disabilities and their families are able to enjoy their ballpark experience.”
In a statement, the Cubs said they are "disappointed in the decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to file suit and hope the matter can be resolved amicably, but we will defend Wrigley Field and our position it meets accessibility requirements for fans."
"The renovation of Wrigley Field greatly increased accessibility of the ballpark and was completed in accordance with applicable law and historic preservation standards consistent with the ballpark’s designation as a National and City of Chicago landmark," the Cubs' statement also reads.
"Since the Department of Justice’s initiation of its review in November 2019, we have fully cooperated with every inquiry and made several offers to voluntarily further enhance accessible features of the ballpark, including seating, restrooms, concessions and other key accessibility elements, in response to the Department’s inquiry."
The suit, filed against Chicago Baseball Holdings, LLC, Wrigley Field Holdings, LLC, WF Master Tenant, LLC, and Chicago Cubs Baseball Club, LLC, seeks injunctive and monetary relief.
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