MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Memphis and the federal government have reached a settlement to make the Liberty Bowl compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The price tag: $12 million.
For seven years, the Justice Department has been clear. Make the 47-year-old stadium accessible for people with disabilities or face a federal lawsuit.
Mayor A C Wharton says in order to make the Liberty Bowl ADA compliant, 282 wheelchair-accessible seats and another 282 companion seats will have to be added.
Wheelchair ramps need to be fixed and installed, fountains and concession stands will have to be made easier to reach.
Once the agreement is signed the city will have one year to complete improvements.
To make the changes around 1,700 seats will be lost, far less than the 10,000 seats originally estimated under the Herenton administration.
Also under projection is the cost, originally estimated at $40 million.
People with disabilities say they have waited too long for good access to the city's largest stadium.
Wharton says another plus about reaching a settlement is it will allow the Fairground Redevelopment Project to move forward. That project has been stalled because of this dispute.