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Post date: August 26 2008

Attorney General Cuomo Requires Cooperstown Baseball Facility To Overhaul Premises For Disability Access

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 26, 2008) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that a large baseball tournament facility in Cooperstown has made extensive changes to its premises so that it is now fully accessible to visitors and guests with physical disabilities.

The Attorney General’s investigation determined that the Cooperstown All Star Village in Oneonta violated federal and state accessibility standards, including those set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act. As a result of an agreement reached with the Attorney General’s Office, the Cooperstown All Star Village has conducted a complete overhaul throughout their facilities including parking, grounds and pathways, sleeping rooms, bathrooms, shops, concessions, and recreational areas.

“Baseball is America’s pastime, and it should be accessible to all,” said Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. “Baseball fans from across the nation will now have easy access to a New York State gem that fuels local tourism. Across the state, I will continue ensuring that facilities are designed and constructed to provide access to all individuals.”

The Cooperstown All Star Village hosts youth baseball tournaments throughout the summer. Each year, thousands of players, coaches, family members and guests regularly stay at the Village and attend games. The Village includes a hotel for families and visitors, a restaurant, several baseball fields, and accommodations for players and coaches.

The Attorney General’s Office and the Catskill Center for Independence, a non-profit that provides services to individuals with disabilities in Delaware, Otsego, and Schoharie Counties, conducted an on-site inspection of the facility. They identified a host of violations of federal and state accessibility standards, including failing to provide accessible parking spaces, guest rooms, spectator areas, and pathways to the baseball fields for persons with disabilities.

As outlined in the agreement with the Attorney General’s Office, the Cooperstown All Star Village has completed all required modifications to ensure that their facilities are fully accessible to persons with disabilities and comply with the New York State Uniform Fire and Building Code, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines. The Cooperstown All Star Village has completed extensive architectural and design modifications to ensure that all parts of the facility are accessible to individuals with disabilities, including:

  • Parking areas
  • Pathways throughout the Village, including the pathway to the lower level of the Village
  • Sleeping rooms, including bathrooms
  • The restaurant, general store and gift shop, concession building, laundry room, game room, infirmary, fitness facilities, lower-level pool, spectator areas at ball fields and bunkhouses

The Village paid $2,000 to the state to cover the costs of the Attorney General’s investigation and also ensured that future additions to the facility will be designed and constructed in full compliance with federal and state accessibility standards.

The Attorney General acknowledged the Cooperstown All Star Village’s cooperation with the inquiry and its willingness to promptly resolve the matter, as well as the Catskill Center for Independence for participating in the case.

Chris Zachmeyer, Executive Director for the Catskill Center for Independence said, “We want to thank Attorney General Cuomo for the tremendous focus his office placed on making sure the rights of all New Yorkers are protected. His office’s thorough response in making sure that all individuals have access to the Cooperstown All Star Village underscores our shared belief of equal rights for all.”

The case was handled by Section Chief Jeffrey K. Powell and Assistant Attorney General Beth Frank of the Civil Rights Bureau.