Families experience ADA seating confusion for Taylor Swift Levi's Stadium show

Melanie Woodrow Image
Tuesday, June 20, 2023
ADA seating confusion at Levi's Stadium for Taylor Swift show
There are questions about the availability of seats for those with disabilities at Taylor Swift's Eras Tour July concert at Levi's Stadium.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- There are questions about the availability of ADA seats at Taylor Swift's July concert at Levi's Stadium. Two families tell the I-Team confusion led to some people purchasing ADA tickets who didn't need them, while those who did wound up with non-ADA tickets.

Ariana Kallas has been a concert-goer nearly all her life.

"We go to at least one a year," said Kallas.

Using a wheelchair has never slowed her down.

"I think live music is so fun because you're in the moment, you're around people who also share that same interest," she continued.

But her plans to attend Taylor Swift's show at Levi's Stadium next month are on shaky ground.

In November of last year, George Kallas bought four tickets for his family to see Taylor Swift on Saturday, July 29. He gave Ariana a play-by-play of the ticket-buying process while she was in school.

"It was such a hot ticket that you didn't even have time to blink," said George Kallas.

After purchasing the tickets, he says he contacted Levi's Stadium to exchange the general seats for ADA seats. He received an autogenerated email that said the remaining inventory for non-NFL events tickets and exchanges was limited and requests for accommodation would be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

The email also said that they'd reach out to him as soon as possible and no later than the day before the event if they could accommodate the request. In February of this year, Kallas received another email, this time saying, the Swift tickets were 100% sold out, including ADA seats, and that no seats were available for exchanges.

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Ariana shared the family's story on Twitter.

"And I explained that it's a physical challenge for me," said Kallas.

It's not the first time she's advocated for herself.

Kallas helped make her high school campus more accessible, including changes at graduation.

"I think it's only fair if I'm able to cross the stage at graduation you know and not roll in front of it to get my diploma so I was just like can we make sure we have ramps," said Ariana Kallas.

"A lot of these things can go unnoticed unless you mention it," she continued.

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In an emailed statement, Levi's Stadium tells ABC7 News, "We believe everyone should be able to enjoy concerts and events at Levi's Stadium, no matter what their accommodation needs may be. There has been unprecedented demand for the Taylor Swift shows. ADA seats were made available as part of the original on-sale and are already sold out for fans requiring various accommodations..."

But George Kallas says he didn't see any markings identifying the ADA seats.

"Usually on the seating chart they will have the little markings that show the wheelchair symbol I didn't see any of that," said Kallas.

He's not the only one who says they didn't see those markings.

Amy, a teacher in Sacramento who asked we not use her last name, says she purchased Swift tickets for her daughter during a presale.

"I bought the tickets and I was so excited," said Amy.

Until Amy says she realized they were ADA tickets, which she says her family doesn't need.

"And there was no pop-up when I did it," she said. "I couldn't see the dots. They were so teeny and they were blue and I just clicked on them so I can't say for certain. It didn't appear that they had something on them cause I never, ever, ever would have purchased them."

She says she tried to exchange the tickets with Ticketmaster and shared an online chat with the I-Team that spanned multiple days and even months.

"I asked for managers, I asked for supervisors, I asked if someone could call me, they didn't care," said Amy.

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After ABC7 News got involved, Ticketmaster asked the I-Team for Amy's contact info to allow a review of the matter. Ticketmaster also directed the I-Team to a webpage that explains ADA seats can be purchased through the interactive seat map or by applying an "accessible tickets" filter. They also said accessible tickets are reserved solely for fans with disabilities and their companions, and fans who abuse this policy could have their order canceled.

"They could be a mishap or it's not as user-friendly to find them as it should be," said George Kallas.

"It's 2023 there has to be a way that they can get ADA seats to ADA people," said Amy.

Now, Ticketmaster has offered Amy and her family an exchange for non-ADA tickets if they pay the difference for the seats available. She says she was offered a choice of three different sets of four tickets.

"Frustrated and sad for other people that don't have the media that are helping them and it's ridiculous really," said Amy.

"Now there's four extra ADA seats," said ABC7 News I-Team reporter Melanie Woodrow.

"I would hope that they're reaching out to other people who need those seats," said Amy.

There's still no determined solution for the Kallas family. They're not able to use Amy's returned ADA tickets because the families were going on different nights and the Kallas family says hotels are now full.

"People in wheelchairs or anybody with disabilities deserve the chance to see a concert or view an event the same way any other person could be able to. It's not right that we're limited to just like 1% of the whole stadium," said Ariana Kallas.

The Kallas family has a call scheduled with Levi's Stadium Tuesday. A spokesperson for the stadium told the I-Team they're continuing to explore potential solutions.

"I'm just a little disappointed that it had to come to this to me bringing it to the attention of the media, to the public that this is going on for them to reach out," said George Kallas.

"I'm very open to seeing what they have to say," said Ariana Kallas.

With a little more than a month to the show, these Swift fans are hoping to end on a high note.

The Kallas family says they are not looking for anything above and beyond an ADA wheelchair-accessible seat where Ariana can enjoy the show.

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