Chicago Cubs facing federal review over Wrigley Field access

Federal officials are investigating whether the Chicago Cubs’ ongoing $1 billion renovation of Wrigley Field provides adequate wheelchair access

CHICAGO -- Federal officials are investigating whether the Chicago Cubs’ ongoing $1 billion renovation of Wrigley Field provides adequate wheelchair access.

The Cubs have filed a notice of the review in Chicago federal court where the team is defending itself against a lawsuit filed by a wheelchair user who alleges the stadium’s seating doesn’t meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards and is actually worse than before the renovation.

The Chicago Tribune reports that a team attorney wrote in a letter to the judge that the Cubs believe the renovation has “significantly increased” accessibility in the 105-year-old stadium, but that the team is halting plans to install more accessible seating before the 2020 season, calling it prudent to wait for federal officials to conduct the review.

Justice Department spokesman Joseph Fitzpatrick confirmed that the compliance review was taking place but declined to discuss it further.

Work began in 2014 and is nearly complete on the Wrigley Field renovation, which includes a bleachers expansion, outfield video boards and an expanded grandstand concourse.

Chicago attorney David A. Cerda sued the team on behalf of his 22-year-old son, a lifelong Cubs fan who has muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair. The lawsuit claims that the renovated stadium has too few wheelchair-accessible seats and that those it does have aren’t dispersed properly.