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This makes me sick..

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10-09-2003, 05:14 PM
  #1
Hecht
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This makes me sick.. article now included!

Wheelchair-bound fans bumped at ACC

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10-09-2003, 05:23 PM
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Can you post some of it here so we don't need to register there to view it?

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10-09-2003, 05:43 PM
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yeah , post it ... i wont resgister on website ill never visit .

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10-09-2003, 06:17 PM
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Hecht
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my apologies..I thought it was viewable

Quote:
DAMIEN COX
HOCKEY COLUMNIST

Steve Stavro, the deposed emperor of the Maple Leafs, won't get to sit in those prime platinum seats at centre ice this season.

Instead, Stavro has been moved to a newly built luxury suite in the northeast corner of the Air Canada Centre.

But for Glen Barnes, Stavro's new wood-paneled digs have ruined his anticipation of the new season.

Confined to a wheelchair, Barnes had his seats where Stavro's partially-constructed box now sits.

After five years, Barnes was forced out of those seats to what he feels is a less desirable location.

"On the heels of the whole Easter Seals thing, it just seems it's all about money down there," said the 34-year-old Barnes

"Somebody asked me why I just didn't cancel my tickets if I was unhappy, and I said, `First, I want to go to the games, and second, if I cancel it won't mean anything to them.'"

The Leafs cancelled their annual Easter Seals skate last month, saying the event was declining in popularity as a charity event.

For more than $11,000 a season, Barnes had two tickets to share with five other disabled friends in the 200 level beside the Air Canada Club.

The tickets included in-seat service and a fairly unobstructed view when something exciting happened.

Barnes, a quadriplegic who suffered a spinal cord injury 11 years ago diving into a swimming pool, spent thousands of dollars to see his favourite team.

"I used to play hockey and referee and play a lot of other sports and spend money on registration and equipment and all kinds of stuff," said the Port Credit resident.

"Now, I don't spend money on those things. That's how I justify my Leaf tickets."

When the arena first opened, Barnes was told disabled fans couldn't buy season tickets.

But a chance meeting with then team president Ken Dryden at an open house changed that and Barnes had been able to purchase a pair for the entire campaign every season since.

"I really love the games, the atmosphere, the buzz," he said.

"Sometimes I watch different things. A lot of people watch the puck, but I like to watch behind the play, watch the same things I used to see when I was refereeing."

This summer, he was sent his usual invoice, but soon after received a phone call saying the invoice was sent in error and that his seat was being relocated.

"I said that no one had consulted me," he said.

"I was told there was some construction going on there and they had to move me. I didn't know what the construction was until I went down there."

As part of his farewell package after stepping down as the chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment earlier this year, Stavro was promised his own luxury box.

"As you can appreciate, after five years building anything anywhere at the Air Canada Centre is a pretty big challenge," said Bob Hunter, senior vice-president and general manager of the ACC.

Ultimately, arena officials decided that the area that had been used to fit seven disabled patrons, including Barnes, was the best location for Stavro's 250 square-foot box.

Hunter issued a statement saying the Leafs have expanded seating for the disabled this season and offer discounted tickets.

Barnes was later offered a variety of different spots among the 200-plus seats designated for disabled use at the ACC, but he felt none were nearly as good. Some didn't have the in-seat service for food.

"Since I don't have the use of my hands, I said I wasn't interested in those seats," he said.

The two sides have reached a temporary solution, where Barnes' seats will now be located with about 20 other new seats designated for disabled customers in the Air Canada Club, about 100 feet from where he used to sit. The club membership fee has been waived.

The angle to the ice isn't bad, but his view is affected by safety netting at the end of the rink and the crowds in the restaurant make it more difficult to move around and use the washroom.

There is also no in-seat service.

"It's the whole idea of not treating a season ticket holder right," he said.

"I think they just thought I was going to roll over and take whatever they offered.

"To me, the bigger issue is that they're filling up wheelchair seats with a luxury box. There would be pandemonium if they tried to take 10 seats from season ticket holders so they could use them for wheelchairs."

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10-09-2003, 06:40 PM
  #5
Redline
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I'm not really sure what to make of that.This guy is pissed because he was moved to make room for Stavro and i can appreciate him being unhappy on that count.But i dont understand the part about him being upset that his view is obstructed by safety netting.He is without the use of his hands,personally i cant imagine seating a quadrapalegic fan anywhere other than behind the protective netting for thier own safety.

Also it says the leafs have expanded the seating capacity for disabled persons and to me that should be applauded.

Anyway,i certainly dont understand why the thread starter would choose a title like "this makes me sick".I would say you over reacted.

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10-09-2003, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redline
I'm not really sure what to make of that.This guy is pissed because he was moved to make room for Stavro and i can appreciate him being unhappy on that count.But i dont understand the part about him being upset that his view is obstructed by safety netting.He is without the use of his hands,personally i cant imagine seating a quadrapalegic fan anywhere other than behind the protective netting for thier own safety.

Also it says the leafs have expanded the seating capacity for disabled persons and to me that should be applauded.

Anyway,i certainly dont understand why the thread starter would choose a title like "this makes me sick".I would say you over reacted.
I agree. He seems to have gotten more out of being moved then anything.

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10-09-2003, 06:49 PM
  #7
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I started the thread because a section for handicapped people who btw paid for their seats get completely uplifted from a nice center ice seat to behind the netting for a freakin luxurey seat. The guy was never informed of what was going to happen to his seat. I think it's a big slap in the face for all handicapped people if not customers regardless of the leafs trying to be more accommidating.

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