Pepsi Center to Provide Open Captioning for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Sports Fans
Class action settlement provides for captioning on LED boards at non-concert events.
DENVER January 25, 2018 – Kirstin Kurlander and Kroenke Arena Company are pleased to announce that the Pepsi Center will start providing open captioning for Deaf and Hard of Hearing sports fans beginning this fall.
The Pepsi Center — a roughly 18,000-seat arena in downtown Denver — is home to the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, and Colorado Mammoth. Starting with the first preseason Avalanche game in October of this year, the Pepsi Center will caption all of the information spoken over the public address system on LED ribbon boards mounted on the front of the third level at the four corners of the arena.
Ms. Kurlander, a deaf woman and Mammoth season-ticket holder, filed a class action lawsuit against the company that owns and operates the Pepsi Center in 2016, after informally requesting captions at the arena. The Pepsi Center began providing captions on handheld devices — smartphones or tablets — in late 2016, and has been working with Ms. Kurlander and her attorneys at the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) on a solution that provides open captioning that is generally visible throughout the arena. The parties reached agreement at the end of last year and Judge Wiley Y. Daniel granted preliminary approval on January 9, 2018.
“I am very pleased that the Pepsi Center will provide captioning and I look forward to attending lacrosse and other games there with full access to the information broadcast in the arena,” said Ms. Kurlander. Amy Robertson, Co-Executive Director at CREEC, added, “We were pleased with the Pepsi Center’s willingness to explore different solutions, and are glad that Deaf and Hard of Hearing sports fans will have equal access to games there.”
“The Pepsi Center has offered interpreters to its Deaf and Hard of Hearing patrons since its opening and, more recently, captioning on handheld devices at sporting events. We are now pleased to offer open captioning in the arena for sporting and similar non-concert events,” said Jim Martin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kroenke Arena Company. Outside counsel for Kroenke Arena Company on this matter, Susan P. Klopman of H&K Law, LLC, added, “This addition continues to mark the Pepsi Center’s strong commitment to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.”
Judge Daniel has scheduled a hearing on the settlement on April 5, 2018 at 10:00.