Rodeo and NRG Park resolve ADA violations
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
HOUSTON – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas (SDTX) has completed the investigation into the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) and NRG Park, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
The investigation announced in 2022 was conducted under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and expanded to include NRG Stadium, NRG Center, NRG Arena and NRG Park Outdoor areas. It evaluated the accessibility for disabled individuals attending the Rodeo and using the NRG complex.
“HLSR did the right thing and made its facilities accessible to the entire community, including those with disabilities” said Hamdani. “With the cooperation of the HLSR and NRG Park, and after my office’s investigation, all individuals in the district will have a chance to enjoy the Rodeo.”
Title III of the ADA prohibits private places of public accommodation from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. The matter stemmed from complaints that the HLSR violated the ADA. Among the allegations were lack of accessible parking, accessible seating, accessible facilities and accessible routes.
SDTX’s investigation found significant barriers to accessibility.
However, the HLSR and NRG Park cooperated fully with the investigation. After the barriers were brought to their attention, officials worked diligently and expeditiously to correct all major violations before the start of the 2023 Rodeo.
Several areas are now ADA compliant - parking, many bathrooms and toilet areas, temporary ramps and handrails and several permanent countertops within NRG Park.
The number of accessible porta-potties, accessible dining areas and accessible seating has increased, accessible paths and surfaces were revamped and obstructions were either modified or removed. They also added a new stair lift in NRG Arena and attendants to assist with self-service kiosks in NRG Stadium.
NRG Stadium also revised their elevator policy during the Rodeo to improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities.
Additionally, NRG Park has revised its parking policies to provide improved access to NRG Park events including increased available accessible parking spaces and accessible drop-off points as well as modified placard requirements and improved traffic flow for those areas. They also added the Orange Lot Shuttle along Circle Drive.
The SDTX is committed to vigorously enforcing the ADA and welcomes public comments or complaints. To file a comment or complaint, or to learn more about the ADA, individuals can contact the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas at (713) 567-9140 or via email.
Additional information is available at Civil Rights Division for the Southern District of Texas.
Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Elizabeth Karpati and former Executive AUSA Keith Wyatt handled the matter.
Updated February 23, 2023