Red Rocks releases statement in response to lawsuit

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DENVER (KKTV) - UPDATE (12/7) Red Rocks has released a statement in response to a lawsuit over concert access:

Credit: MGN

Denver Arts & Venues has a long history of working with a number of communities to improve the patron experience for all, including complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. We continually monitor feedback and update venue operations in order to make all of our facilities, including Red Rocks Amphitheatre, comfortable, safe and accessible to all patrons. We will continue to work with groups representing disabled communities, in order to improve the experience of patrons with disabilities to the extent we are allowed by law, including the ADA, and the unique characteristics of venues like Red Rocks Amphitheater.

PREVIOUS (12/6): We are hearing from a man in southern Colorado who is one of several who filed a lawsuit against a popular concert venue near Denver.

Like we've been reporting, several advocacy groups have filed a class action federal lawsuit over concert access against the city of Denver, which owns Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Jim Vacik, who lives in Security, is one of six people named in the suit.

"It's not a pity or anything like that, they just want to go to the show like everybody else," said Vacik.

He loves going to concerts with his son, but says he's frustrated with the venue.

Red Rocks has two wheelchair-accessible rows: one row at the top and the first row.

"When that row is filled up with all able-bodied people and I'm the only person in a wheelchair – something is wrong," said Vacik.

The lawsuit alleges the city does not stop people who do not have a disability from sitting in the front row.

"They say 'We told them. The ticket's marked. If they choose to cheat we can't challenge them because of the ADA.' And we're saying 'Yes you can. You're choosing not to,'" Vacik added.

The lawsuit also claims there's not enough accessible seats, saying the venue is short by about 40 spaces.

"Red Rocks needs to make some changes. But the other part is the people that are buying concert tickets," Vacik said. "If it says 'wheelchair' and you’re not in one, you don’t belong there. Because you really are taking it away from somebody who needs that seat.”

"That's all we ask for ... fair treatment, equal treatment," Vacik added.

The lawsuit says the accessible rows should be clearly marked to discourage others from taking them. It also says the staff should ask people in the front row about their disability needs and to move them elsewhere if they do not have a disability.

11 News reached out to the city of Denver to get a comment about the lawsuit. We'll let you know what we find out.