General Admission Wheelchair Seating

Timbers - Denied Gen Adm Wheelchair Seat

To begin, let me inform you I am a paraplegic. I was heading to the game to meet up with a friend, but wound up running late.

It was the opening day for the Portland Timbers' 2010 season at PGE Park. I arrived about 15 minutes into the game and proceeded to the ticket booths, but there were signs outside saying "Sold Out". I thought to myself that there must be wheelchair seating still available so I sent my friend who was already inside a text asking him to survey how many empty wheelchair spots there are. He replied, "dozens and dozens in multiple sections are empty".

With that information in hand, I informed the gate security of my discovery and asked if I can still get a ticket. The employee ran down the corridor and saw for herself that there are indeed many spots open and prompted me to head to the main ticket window. Next I'm at the window purchasing a ticket, but I was told all general admission accessible seating is sold out, but I can get one of the expensive reserved seating sections. I didn't think anything of it and went ahead to purchase the more expensive ticket.

So I proceeded to section 107, which is the area my friend was sitting. Section 107 is in the middle of general admission, which stretches from section 102 to 111. It caught my curiosity when I noticed there were multitudes of empty wheelchair seats in every one of the wheelchair sections spanning the general admission area.

I wound up voicing my concern at the ticket office to get the answer of, "the director of ticket operations said all wheelchair general admission are sold out for this game".

This raises my brow...doesn't it for you too? I call BS on them announcing the game being sold out. I'd venture to guess they said all "general admission" tickets are sold out as a ploy to drum up hype for future ticket sales. As you can see in the pictures attached, the sections are almost completely empty!

What is your take? Why would a venue deny general admission wheelchair seating when there are clearly plenty available. I highly doubt all the empty spots are season ticket holders who just happened to miss the opening game against one of the best teams in the league.

Oh, and another thing. I mentioned all this to the usher for section 107. I told the usher, "the Director of Ticket Operations said all the wheelchair seating in general admission is sold out"...the usher replied..."they lied".

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themom51 says ... on Sunday, Jul 18 at 12:54 PM

I really wish you had contacted Problem Solvers with this one! Would have LOVED to see a reporter in the face of whomever was responsible for this screwup. Sounds like they got what they wanted: reserved seating $$ instead of general admission $$!

wheelncarl says ... on Tuesday, May 4 at 8:25 AM

Regarding the sec. 107 usher at the end of my article: At Saturdays exhibition game the same usher was not there. I hope that person was not disciplined for me stating the usher said "they lied" at the end of the article. Would anyone know?

wheelncarl says ... on Tuesday, May 4 at 8:23 AM

Hi Bob, I wanted to give a big shout out to you! Thanks for the extra tickets...that was an awesome thing to do.

Matt Brewster says ... on Saturday, May 1 at 12:18 PM

Hey bob@thewoodwork.org Kind of you to reach out to my friend Carl Backstrom. He will be contacting you re.. the tix you offered him. I advised him that it has been B Kellett that I looked for to gain valuable Timbers posts in the past. cheers!

Tbone says ... on Tuesday, Apr 27 at 2:49 PM

They can't stop us, let em' try! For the Portland Timbers we would die!

Hmmm says ... on Tuesday, Apr 27 at 2:41 PM

Now now, folks. We all know soccer, being the biggest, and best sport on earth is going to have plenty of haters, and as our sport outgrows and outpaces the junk those haters watch, such as the NBA, they get defensive.. but thats not the point here!

Hmmm says ... on Monday, Apr 26 at 5:39 PM

And I say E-Mail Merrit because i'm sure he would do something about it. He's usually pretty great about communication when it comes to serious issues that us fans have.

Hmmm says ... on Monday, Apr 26 at 5:36 PM

Thats really unfortunate they would treat a fellow fan like this. I always see plenty of handi-capped fans enjoying the game, haven't heard about anything like this before, though. I'd go to Merrit Paulsons website and send him an e-mail about it.

hopmah says ... on Monday, Apr 26 at 5:06 PM

keep in mind that we are all only temporarily able bodied. Over time most if not all of us will deteriorate to some degree of disability.

lonewolfsap@hotmail.com says ... on Monday, Apr 26 at 4:34 PM

That sucks what do you expect from a soccer game my advice go to a real sport and im sure this will NOT happen to you

jv267 says ... on Monday, Apr 26 at 3:48 PM

Maybe they don't have enough bathrooms

Someonedude says ... on Monday, Apr 26 at 3:41 PM

Also keep in mind the software they use to sell the tickets. The software probably does not seperate the wheelchairs from the rest of the seats. When the seats are sold out, so is the wheelchair. This is PGE issue, not the Timbers.

Bob says ... on Monday, Apr 26 at 1:35 PM

Sorry to hear this. I hope you will attend Timbers games in the future. I have a general admission season ticket and there are a couple of games I can't attend this season. I would be happy to give these to you for free. bob@thewoodwork.org

Ed says ... on Monday, Apr 26 at 1:11 PM

I think it comes down to training. The ticket person may not have been properly trained/informed. You showed great patience and understanding in the situtation.

Steve says ... on Monday, Apr 26 at 12:40 PM

The person or persons responsible should be given a fine. You can't close off or park in a handicapped space at your whim.......This goes for seats,restrooms or parking. It's the law.

timber_fan says ... on Monday, Apr 26 at 11:11 AM

I would be calling BS with PGE Park, not the Timbers. Remember that PGE Park is responisble for the ticket sales at the game, not the team.

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