While the west side of the DakotaDome will receive renovations that include handrails and other safety measures in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, the east side will not see any changes.
The Dome’s $26.3 million renovation does provide handrails, elevators and an entrance to the west side. All of these features will aid attendees of the game who need these amenities.
“(Renovations will bring) everything up to ADA code on the west side. (ADA code) is what accommodates all those safety types of items, so from the handrails down the aisle, I mean honestly that’s number one, to just general accessibility,” Corey Jenkins, senior associate AD for facilities and operations, said.
Jenkins said while the west side sees renovations, plans will be made to accommodate these missing features on the east side in the future. Jenkins said there are no plans to renovate the east side at this time.
“So in this phase of the Dome renovation project, all the new seating sections on the west side will have handrails down the aisle,” Jenkins said. “This phase of the project does not include installation of handrails on the east side.”
The new features being put on the west side of the Dome include automatic open doors, an elevator and a standard safety railing in front of front row seating areas and in front of luxury suites on the 200 level.
The athletic department wants to implement railings and other safety features to the east side, but funding isn’t available, Jenkins said. A few other issues need addressing when the renovation arrives.
“Right now there’s not really space to put a handrail down the middle of those aisles,” Jenkins said, “but we can accommodate that in the future by removing some seats and extending some steps and making the space to do that.”
Jenkins said if there are people wanting to attend the games next fall, and would like accommodations such as handrails, they are welcome to buy tickets for the seating on the west side until the east side receives its renovation.