DENVER (KDVR) — The U.S Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado filed a discrimination claim against the City and County of Denver, Red Rocks Amphitheatre and several concert promoters for charging higher prices for wheelchair-accessible seats at the concert venue.
After four years, a settlement has been reached with Denver and the promoters Live Nation, AEG, and PBS12. FOX31 sat down with the woman who made the initial complaint.
Amy Fink made the complaint four years ago and says the win is a full circle moment for her. Fink said that even though she’s young, she felt the need to speak up for her community, the disabled population, to let them know their voice matters.
Price jumped from $60 to $100 for accessible seating
Red Rocks Ampitheatre is an iconic outdoor Colorado concert venue that crowds flock to for a live show, bringing joy to many.
“I’ve been sick for a long time and concerts were kind of like my one way to kind of not feel sick for an evening,” Fink said.
In 2018, Fink went online to purchase a concert ticket to see her favorite band perform at Red Rocks. The now 24-year-old uses a wheelchair for mobility and needs special seating when attending concerts.
“When I hit that little toggle, the price went from like 60 to like over 100 dollars,” Fink recalled.
She said she initially thought it was a glitch and tried again, but the price still doubled for a wheelchair-accessible seat.
“I felt sick. I felt horrible,” Fink said.
Fink said she called Red Rocks for a solution but got no response. She said she then took her frustrations online to alert others about what she calls “price gouging” of the disabled community, but she didn’t get the ideal response.
“I had so many people tell me that I was lucky to be able to sit in that seat and that I should feel grateful that I get to sit in the first row, and they would love to pay that price to sit where I get to sit,” Fink said. “I was just like, ‘Do you guys not understand why I have to sit there?'”
‘I think disabled people are taught to be quiet’
At 17 years old, Fink was diagnosed with stage 4 blood cancer. The intense treatment caused a lot of complications for her, and she was also diagnosed with avascular necrosis, which is the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply. She’s currently in remission after receiving a bone marrow transplant from her brother.
“I think disabled people are taught to be quiet,” Fink said.
Speaking up, she said she went to the U.S. Attorney’s Office with her complaint and evidence to support it. Then a claim was filed against Denver, Red Rocks and several concert promoters and an investigation got underway.
“We looked at hundreds of shows held at Red Rocks and found that over 10% of wheelchair-accessible seats were charged more than they should have been,” said Zayen Wu, an assistant U.S. attorney. “The per-ticket overcharge was as much at $130 per ticket.”
A settlement was reached this week and those impacted will be reimbursed, totaling at least $40,000.
FOX31 reached out to Denver Arts & Venues, which released this statement:
“The Red Rocks Amphitheatre team has worked closely with the Department of Justice, AXS and our promoter partners to review the pricing of tickets for accessible seating in 2018 and 2019. The review revealed that some of these tickets were not in line with the pricing ratio required by the ADA and has resulted in refunds to approximately 200 buyers ranging between approximately $7 and $80 for a total of approximately $40,000. Going forward, all the parties have agreed that accessible seats will be priced at the lowest price designated for each show to avoid any miscalculations on the required pricing ratio under the ADA.
Ticket purchasers eligible for refunds have been or will be contacted directly by AXS with refunds or refund information.”Denver Arts & Venues