Minutes from 1/25/07 Outreach Meeting at Shea Stadium


January 25, 2007

Opening Remarks – Dominic Marinelli, United Spinal Association

Design Development Update on Citi Field
Mike Sabatini, HOK Sports

• Ebbets Field is the inspiration for Citi Field Ballpark.
• Jackie Robinson rotunda – brick arches and ornamental steel.
• Openness between stadium and neighborhood.
• Shea Stadium will remain operational until Citi Field is completed.

• Approximately 5% of parking spaces will be accessible parking spaces.
• 1 out of every 5 parking spaces will be van accessible parking spaces.
• 80 foot wide plaza around Citi Field will separate stadium from parking lot.
• NY Mets are working with MTA concerning transportation issues – 7 train and LIRR stops at Shea Stadium are not accessible.

Stadium Features
• Four major entrances at new stadium.
• Bus parking area provided near Whitestone Expressway.
• Shea stadium is 20 feet taller than Citi Field.
• Citi Field has 18 elevators (Shea Stadium has 4 elevators). Each entrance will have a minimum of 2 elevators serving it. There are 3 designated freight elevators.
• 3rd base side of stadium is served by ramps.
• Wiffle ball field will have some bleacher seating.
• Tread dimensions for seating (measurement from front of chair to back of chair in front of individual) range from 33 – 39 inches. Tread dimensions at Shea Stadium range from 30 – 32 inches).
• Seat width at Citi Field will range from 19 – 24 inches, depending on location. Seat width at Shea Stadium is 18 inches.
• Wheelchair accessible seating at Citi Field will be dispersed both horizontally and vertically with enhanced line of sight.
• 449 of Citi Field’s 42,544 seats will be accessible.

Ground/Plaza Level
• Accessible seating located on the field by 1st, 3rd base and behind home plate.
• Group Sales area – outfield fence – entrance to area by 126th Street.

Sterling Level (private level)
• Level is 15 feet above field.
• Sterling Club – 1700 seats and 10 suites (all suites have accessible seating in back row). Accessible seats are also provided between the suites in two locations.
• No amenities on this level will disrupt view of the field.

Concourse Level (1st public level of stadium)
• Level is about 30 feet above field.
• Only level that allows you to walk around the entire stadium on a concourse that is approximately 50 – 60 feet wide.
• Accessible seating is distributed around this level. The accessible seating by 1st and 3rd base is located at the playing field.
• Ebbets Club holds approximately 700 seats that sit above the sterling club seats (accessible seating is provided in multiple locations within Ebbets Club).
• Three suites in Ebbets Club are owner suites (accessible seating is provided within owner suites).

Suite Level – located from 1st to 3rd base (private level)
• Among suites, 5 are party suites.
• Level also includes the front tier of the restaurant (accessible seating is provided in front row and back row at the club level).
• There is a bridge that connects the administration building to ballpark.

Club Level (private and public)
• Press is located behind home plate.
• Accessible seating is provided all around the club level seating, including the 5 rows of club seating located in front of press with accessible seating at the back.
• Approximately 15 rows of seats are provided on 1st and 3rd base side of stadium with accessible seating at the back.
• Left field porch seating with accessible seating at the back.
• Restaurant with a capacity of 190 seats on a multiple tier dining experience with accessible seating at the top tier.
• Right field porch is attached to the administration building. The roof of the administration is the concourse of the porch. Accessible seating is located at the back row. Access to this level from elevator and the bridge connected to the ballpark.

Promenade Level (right to left field, public)
• Split deck system.
• 4 rows of seating provided in lower portion.
• 24 rows of seating provided in upper portion.
• Accessible seating is provided all around the promenade level.
• GA Club located behind home plate will provide refuge from bad weather for a few hundred individuals.
• Accessible seating is distributed throughout

Accessible Seating & Lines of Sight
Ed Roether, HOK Sport

• Wheelchair seats sit on a pedestal so that when spectators stand-up, the heads of individuals in wheelchairs will be at the same height as the standing spectators.
• Life safety/Aisle Stair requirements include consistent stair heights.
• As of now, the companion seats provided in wheelchair seating locations will be fixed seats.
• Aisle seats with movable armrests will be provided at Citi Field. Discussion about the purpose of movable armrests on aisle seats – technically, an aisle seat with movable armrests is not required to be on an accessible route. Also, seats with movable armrests have many maintenance issues.

Means of Egress
• Components of stadium’s accessible means of egress include elevators, ramps and all stairs.
• Both the amount of time for people to exit the facility and the amount of time before smoke accumulates to dangerous levels are considered for smoke-protected assembly seating along with safety factors. This includes the accessible means of egress.

Questions/Comments from Audience

• Need to ensure that individual with disabilities can get to Citi Field via public transportation – need to make 7 train and LIRR accessible.

• Do we know the number of Mets fans that don’t drive vehicles to Shea Stadium? Maybe there are enough “walk-ins” to create extra MTA bus lines on game days or an express bus from Manhattan to Citi Field.

• Will the new subway trains be available on the 7 line that provide accommodations for visually impaired and deaf/heard of hearing?

• Will any elevators be designated for use only by individuals using wheelchairs? At Shea Stadium, the press monopolizes the few elevators available. Mike Sabatini of HOK Sports replied that the main entrances are served by escalators that are located within the general flow of traffic; therefore, most spectators will use the escalators.

• Citi Field staff, including seasonal workers, should undergo training so that they know how to react in emergency situations.

• Will seat numbers be provided on back of seats? Mike Sabatini of HOK Sports replied that yes. Suggestion from audience that seat numbers be high contrast to seat.

• If companion seats are fixed – make sure that staff is trained and willing to move these fixed seats. Staff members at Brooklyn ballpark are reluctant to remove fixed seats.

• If new accessible stations are provided for LIRR or 7 train at Citi Field, make sure that no gap exists.

• Need a bus route from the Rockaways – currently have to transfer from A train to 7 train. Noted that if a bus line isn’t used enough, the route will be reduced or eliminated.

• Are all concession stands at accessible height? Yes – all counters at concession stands are at a height of 34 inches above the finished floor.

• Will an Assistive Listening System be provided at Citi Field? Yes. Joel Ziev explained the FM broadcast system that will be provided in the seating bowl of the new stadium.

• Will closed captioning be provided? Will it be provided under each speaker? Adding closed captioning under each speaker could add confusion. It is important that everyone needing closed captioning know where to find it – consistency is important.

• Televisions will be located throughout concession area and all can be captioned.

• Will there be visual alarms provided in toilet rooms? Yes.

• How many scoreboards will there be at Citi Field? Currently, the Mets plan to have one main scoreboard in center and one smaller scoreboard located in right outfield. Suggestion that Mets provide mock-ups in order to test if captioning both scoreboards is readable from all seating locations in the stadium.

• Ensure that the letters on the closed captioning provided on the scoreboards contrasts with board. Important to use the term “visual contrast” rather than “color contrast.”

• Will the captioning be provided on the top or bottom of the scoreboards?

• Will way finding be provided in parking lot? Necessary to have way finding to public transportation too.

• Remember that employees of Citi Field may also have disabilities.

• Will the ticket policy require medical proof of a disability?