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David Espinoza letter: Treated badly at Engelstad arena

I am writing this to express my outrage over behavior shown toward me and other people with disabilities at the recent Wild game at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.

I am writing this to express my outrage over behavior shown toward me and other people with disabilities at the recent Wild game at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.

I have a disability and purchased a ticket for section 301, which has a reserved accessible seating area for persons with disabilities. I purchased the ticket for 301 because I knew it was one of the prime arena locations at the "Ralph" that offered accessible seating.

To my dismay and embarrassment when I arrived at the game, I was told by the section attendant that "Section 301 is not available for those with disabilities as we had to close it off to accommodate the 'unusual' number of requests by the press covering this game." Thus we were directed to an accessible section of the arena, which had tickets that sold at a much lesser price. I was not the only person with a disability affected by this policy. I knew of others in wheelchairs that waited for about 20 minutes before alternative accessible seating to section 301 was found.

I think this is intolerable behavior by the management of the Ralph. People with disabilities have civil rights. Management should have anticipated the increased press coverage requests for this game between two NHL teams. A plan should have been in place. Just think of the huge volume of press coverage requests for the World Junior Tournament coming to the Ralph. What will management decide in that case? Close off all accessible seating? I think not.

David Espinoza

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East Grand Forks, Minn.

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