New York City’s high-profile stadiums and arenas draw the best athletes and entertainers in the world. For sports and music fans with disabilities, the decision to attend an event at any one of these venues is likely to include some research to ease anxieties surrounding its physical accessibility and customer service. To help our visitors who are eager to take on this challenge, we’ve collected links to the facilities’ guides for guests with disabilities. Nevertheless, we recommend that you call any venue before you go to make sure that they are prepared to meet your needs. As thorough as they are, these guides follow a template that visitors may wish to supplement with more personal information gathered through a phone conversation with guest services.
US Open Tennis Championships (Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center)
The US Open is the Grand Slam tournament that marks the close of the professional tennis season. The sprawling collection of stadiums, dining venues and exhibit halls at the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center presents a daunting navigational challenge, but the USTA is determined not to let this discourage anyone from attending. There’s plenty of parking for people with disabilities, and there is also shuttle service from the lots to the stadiums. However, not all shuttles are wheelchair-lift equipped—so visitors looking for this service need to request it on arrival, either from another shuttle driver or a customer service representative.
“We have areas in each stadium specifically designated for guests with disabilities,” says a guest service representative. “There is accessible seating in the larger courts, such as Arthur Ashe Stadium, the temporary Louis Armstrong Stadium, the new Grandstand Stadium and Court 17, as well as in the field courts. The US Open’s online guide offers detailed information on drop-off and pick-up points for visitors using Access-a-Ride, locations of wheelchair seating and elevators, and the placement of display screens with open captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing, among other helpful pointers. It also includes the guest service number: 718-760-6363.
New York Mets and New York Yankees Baseball, and New York City Football Club Soccer (Citi Field and Yankee Stadium)
New York is a baseball town, with the 27-time World Series Champion New York Yankees and beloved Mets, whose own titles produced some of the most memorable moments in the game’s history. The Bronx’s Yankee Stadium and the New York Mets’ Citi Field, in Queens, have extensive information for fans with disabilities on their websites, including specifics on accessible seating and restrooms.
For Mets fans (and, OK, fans of visiting teams), Citi Field offers a phone number (718-565-4360) and an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) for ahead-of-time inquiries. The Mets also have a fan-assistance number for anyone who needs help while on site (646-438-5000).
Among many other important points of information, hard-of-hearing visitors can learn where to pick up assistive listening devices that will play public address announcements (but not play-by-play of the game) at mets.com.
The website for Yankee Stadium contains similar information. For fans who love the Bronx Bombers and want to learn more about their incredible history, a visit to Monument Park is a must—but you’ll want to plan ahead to make sure you can get in and out of the museum before game time. For more information, email email@example.com or call 718-579-4510. You can also find information helpful to visitors with disabilities at yankees.com.
Knicks and Nets Basketball, and Rangers and Islanders Hockey (Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center)
Professional basketball and hockey have two tremendous venues in New York City: Brooklyn’s Barclays Center (home of the NBA’s Nets and the NHL’s Islanders), and historic Madison Square Garden (home of the NBA’s Knicks and the NHL’s Rangers), in Midtown Manhattan. Both of these arenas have terrific access to public transportation, making it that much easier for visitors with disabilities to attend events. Barclayscenter.com offers a compact Disabled Services A to Z Guide with information about Access-a-Ride drop-off points, induction loop locations and much more. The customer service phone number, 917-618-6111, has an automated response telling callers to leave a message with any request—so it’s best if you call as far in advance as possible.
Madison Square Garden is a destination for travelers from around the world, especially basketball and hockey fans. For visitors with disabilities hoping to get in on the action, the Garden is prepared with an army of guest services representatives. Get started with a look at MSG’s comprehensive FAQ sheet for visitors with disabilities at thegarden.com. In addition, an advance call to guest services at 212-465-6034 should help you and your companions get set for your MSG event.
New York Giants and Jets Football (MetLife Stadium)
MetLife Stadium—located across the Hudson River in East Rutherford, New Jersey—has a wealth of information for fans with disabilities on its website, metlifestadium.com. Fans can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. As always, it’s a good idea to call ahead if you think you might need assistance getting to your seat or finding an assistive listening device: 201-559-1515 (or TDD/TTY via relay operator at 866-410-5787).
New York Red Bulls Soccer (Red Bull Arena)
Red Bull Arena, which holds 25,000 spectators, offers accessible seating at every price point; the stadium is located just outside the City, in Harrison, New Jersey. For more information, call 877-727-6223 (TTY: 973-482-9060) or email email@example.com.