Group offers praise for features at SBC Center.
Details such as low counters, convenient places to slide wheelchairs into and wide spaces in bathrooms and elevators add up to make the SBC Center a nice place to visit, say people who toured the arena Friday as part of All Access Night.
“Those are just little features that I’m catching onto that makes it very convenient for us,” said Allen Flores, who said the experience might convince him to start going basketball games.
Flores, 44, who has difficulty walking and uses a wheelchair as a result of polio, served on a committee that advised officials on how to make the arena accessible to people with sensory, cognitive or physical disabilities.
Friday was the first time he saw the completed result.
“It’s fantastic,” he said. “My house is not even that accessible, to be honest with you.”
About 45 people attended the event, which started with a one-hour tour. They later watched the Spurs play Philadelphia.
There are some minor things to fix such as some railing heights and loose seats, said Kevin McGuire, an accessibility consultant for the SBC project. But that’s the case in any major undertaking and will be easy to take care of.
“Changes are going to be made,” he told the group as the tour commenced. “If you see anything, please let us know.”
McGuire, who said he has worked on about 70 sporting venues in the past decade, up to half the projects in the nation, said the SBC Center is the best when it comes to accessibility. Disabled people have nearly every price range and sight line available in the bowl, he said.
“We’ve probably set a new standard for the NBA,” he said.
Adrian Cavallini, whose 11-year-old son, Anthony, uses a wheelchair, said the parking spot was a little tight but everything else is impressive.
“Everything in here seems to be very, very accessible,” he said. “They’ve really made a great effort.”
And that’s not the only good thing, according to Anthony.
“The SBC Center is brighter than the Alamodome,” he said.