Lantz Arena ‘up to code’ but not accessible


Rob Le Cates

Eastern’s men’s basketball Head Coach Marty Simmons, talks to players during a timeout in a game against the St. Mary of the Woods College Black Horses during the game in Lantz Arena Monday afternoon. The Panthers won 102-40 against the Black Horses.

Autumn Schulz, Sports Editor

Lantz Arena is the home of Eastern’s men’s and women’s basketball teams and its volleyball team, but it is also home to inaccessibility for those who are disabled but want to attend a game.  

Someone who is wheelchair bound would be contained to designated spaces on the upper level of Lantz Arena, completely separating an individual from the action on the lower level. 

However, if there was seating available on the lower level of Lantz Arena, those with mobility disabilities would be faced with steep hallways and a long quest to find the nearest elevator.  

The main hallways are made of tile and the main hallway outside of the entrance of Lantz Arena is very steeply slanted, making it both difficult and unsafe.  

If one can get around safely enough to find the elevator, they would be searching for the elevator for quite some time. The signs pointing in the correct direction to the elevator are hard to see and it is in an inconvenient location. 

There are various requirements set by the Americans with Disabilities Act that must be met in order for any collegiate stadium or arena to be considered accessible. 

The ADA “prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life, venues that receive visitors have to make sure people with disabilities are offered the same access and services as any visitors,” according to 

Some of the requirements, according to inclusivecitymaker, are having lowered counters at concessions and merchandise stands, wheelchair seating areas, wheelchair escorts, assistive listening devices for hearing impaired people, and dedicated spaces for service animals. 

Although Lantz Arena has wheelchair seating areas, that is just one of the many things that it should have in order to be more inclusive. 

Eastern men’s basketball head coach, Marty Simmons, has personal familiarity with Eastern’s accessibility matter. 

Simmons’ daughter, Brittany, went into cardiac arrest in 2019, where it took 25 minutes to get her heart beating again and it resulted in an anoxic brain injury. Brittany is now blind, wheelchair bound, and sensitive to noises.  

Brittany does take advantage of the accessibility features that Lantz Arena has to offer, such as handicap parking in the rear of Lantz for easy entry into the building, in order to make watching her dad coach an easier experience.  

Once she is inside, Brittany uses the elevator in order to get to the upper level to watch the game from a corner near the basketball offices. 

Simmons said that Lantz meets Brittany’s needs for her to attend the games. 

That is important to us because she grew up going to games and it keeps some normality in her life since her health event,” Simmons said.  

According to, many believe that the ADA only applies to new construction or renovations. Therefore, buildings that existed prior to 1990 do not need to be accessible. 

Lantz falls under this assumption because, according to Rich Moser, the associate athletic director, Lantz is compliant with ADA codes because no renovations have been made since the enactment of the ADA. 

However, according to, the ADA does require the removal of barriers to accessibility in older buildings. Some examples of removing barriers include adding curb cuts to sidewalks and entrances, widening doors, and using accessible door hardware. 

 Autumn Schulz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]