Wheel-chair bound patron to local venues tired of paying more for accessible seating.

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POSTED: Friday, February 15, 2013 - 8:30pm

UPDATED: Monday, February 18, 2013 - 1:38pm

For Sean Thompson, heading to concerts and shows is a way of life. There's only one problem though, being confined to a wheelchair he's noticing he's often forced to pay $20, $50 - even $100 more to see the same show.

"Somebody could pay $20 to go to an event, where I would have had to pay $200 for two tickets just because it's a handicapped seat," Thompson explained.

He said handicapped seats are often either on the floor level, or only in the mid-range, which doesn't leave many price-friendly options. A fact confirmed by local management at the River Center.

"I don't think a lot of people know that to buy handicapped tickets it's so much more money. I mean I understand that a certain section is priced for a reason because it's closer. But just because I am forced to sit there because I can't climb a flight of stairs, is completely unfair," Thompson said.

Thompson said for years he's been subjected to pay more at places like the River Center and the New Orleans Arena. He hopes one of these venues will hear him out, and hopefully re-think some of their pricing. For now though he said he’s not letting a little extra cash hold him down.

"I want to live a full life. I am not a homebound person. I believe a lot of America thinks because I am in a wheelchair I don't do a lot. I want to live a full life because you only get one to live," Thompson shared.

NBC33 contacted the River Center, management there said they encourage those with accessibility needs to call them and they'll do their best to accommodate them.

“I can't sell one seat for one price and the one next to it at another. we try to get seats in every price level but sometimes it's not feasible,” explained General Manager Todd Mitchell.

Mitchell said they do everything in their power to make the experience enjoyable for everyone and said that because of the building’s age there are less accessibility options.
 

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There is such a thing called discrimination, to charge someone more for entrance because they are handicapped is crazy. There is also a thing called Americans with Disability Act. I wonder if the people that run these places were handicapped would like paying more than someone that is not handicapped.

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