Disabled vets sue Univ. of Michigan, citing scarcity of wheelchair seats at football stadium

A disabled veterans group sued the University of Michigan on Tuesday, saying there aren’t enough spaces for wheelchair users at Michigan Stadium, one of the largest football stadiums in the country.

The federal lawsuit, filed by the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America, claims university officials are intentionally sidestepping the rules of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A $226 million renovation is planned for the 107,000-seat stadium, which currently has 90 wheelchair-accessible seats. The schools says the renovation work will increase that to 282 seats, but the suit argues that about 1,000 wheelchair-accessible seats are required.

“It’s extremely disappointing that it had to come to this,” said Richard Bernstein, attorney for the plaintiffs.

Michigan spokeswoman Kelly Cunningham said that although university officials had not reviewed the lawsuit, the ongoing renovation meets ADA standards.

“The university is very concerned with providing accessible seats to all of our fans,” Cunningham said. Currently, 53 season ticketholders request wheelchair-accessible seating, Cunningham said.

Michigan Stadium was built in 1927 and expanded several times over the years.