PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A woman with cerebral palsy felt that the Moda Center treated her unfairly because she has a disability.
Samantha Norgart posted on Instagram that a friend gifted her with a ticket to see Luke Bryan Thursday night at the Moda Center. The problem is, she needs a caregiver to come with her and help with her feeding tube and other needs.
When Norgart called the Moda Center about bringing her caregiver, she said they told her they don’t give out free tickets and she would need to buy a $150 ticket for the caregiver.
She even visited the box office with her caregiver, where she said she was given the same response by the box office manager.
Norgart told KOIN 6 News she’s attended concerts at the Moda Center before and her caregiver was able to get in for free. In her post, Norgart made the point that she doesn’t even need a seat, because of her wheelchair.
According to the Rose Quarter website, wheelchair seating is available on each level with companion seats.
“Wheelchair accessible seating is available on all levels that are opened during the event at the Moda Center and on the main level of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Three companion seats are available for each wheelchair seat. We also sell modified aisle seats to guests with limited mobility. Please identify your need for special seating at the time of ticket purchase.”
Since posting on Instagram, Norgart said the Moda Center has reached out to her and they’re in the beginning stages of trying to work something out.
“I feel like there has got to be a change in this society for diversity,” Norgart said.
Moda Center spokesman Michael Lewellen later said that the ticketing matter had been resolved.
(UPDATE: MODA has reached out and we are coming up with a solution.) You guys know I always try to keep the most positive mindset but I had something happen today that sheds some light of what people with disabilities experience often and need to share it. Recently a friend surprised me with a ticket to one of my favorite artists , Luke Bryan at the Moda Center in Portland . In order for me to attend at all, I NEED to have a caregiver (who is trained to use my feeding tube and assist in using the restroom. ) caregivers are licensed to assist me. I called Moda Center today to try and see what accommodations they have for people with disabilities and how I can attend this show like any other able bodied person. I then was given a very disrespectful and rude resoponse that I would need to pay for them and they dont “give out free tickets”. They told me I would need to purchase another $150 ticket in order to bring my caregiver. I let them know that I literally cannot go to the show without one and don’t have the money to purchase another ticket . So I decided to show up at the box office myself to get some answers from the box office manager since I was made to feel like I was faking my disability to get a free ticket . So I ask him, why do I have to pay double because of my disability ? I can not control that I have to have a caregiver… does Moda center have employees on hand to assist me so I don’t have to pay double/ bring a caregiver? The answer to all of my concerns and questions was that I b either pay double or don’t go at all. I DONT EVEN NEED A SEAT. He then proceeded to degrade me further by letting me know the “sensitivity to disabilities and how they fully adhere to all American Disability Act requirements. (so keep that in mind when you swipe over and see the videos of me trying to leave Moda Center. ) I want to empower @moda_center to be the leader in creating more accessibility and inclusion. @rose_quarter @livenation @lukebryan @trailblazers @portland @willametteweek Please share. This needs to change.