During my daily commute home, I drive past the Metrodome demolition site. I visited the Dome only a handful of times and I was never terribly impressed with its accessibility. Getting the accessible seating required navigating a maze of tunnels and the spaces reserved for wheelchairs could barely accommodate my bulky frame. According to MPR, the new Vikings stadium (and the new minor league Saints ballpark) will have vastly improved accessibility.
The new stadiums will include many of the accessibility features that have become standard in most modern sports facilities: more accessible seating, closed captioning on the television monitors, lowered concession counters, etc. As the article notes, the new stadiums will also give people with disabilities the freedom to enjoy watching a game with a group of friends. This may seem like a small thing, but plenty of people with disabilities can tell stories about going to a game with friends and being forced to sit in the “handicapped section” with perhaps one companion.
I’m not sure we needed a publicity funded stadium to create a better experience for fans with disabilities, but at least my tax dollars will fund a facility that should be fully accessible to me. I still may need to take out a small loan to buy tickets for the first Packers-Vikings game in the new stadium.