Tracie Hunte, Assistant Producer, WNYC News
Tracie Hunte is an Assistant Producer in the WNYC Newsroom.
Nine Broadway theaters will be more accessible to the disabled thanks to an agreement with the federal government.
The deal struck by the U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara on Wednesday with the Nederlander Organization will provide 70 more wheelchair seating locations among the theaters, and increase accessibility in restrooms, concession counters, waiting areas and box offices.
The Nederlander organization also will pay a $45,000 civil penalty. The theaters include the Nederlander, Gershwin and Palace.
Advocacy groups think the deal could have a broader impact. "When a group the size of Nederlander says, 'we're going to do this,' I think it's an impetus to other theaters and other theater groups to follow their lead," said Edith Prentiss, vice president of legislative affairs at Disabled in Action of Metropolitan New York.
A similar deal was reached in 2003 with Shubert Theaters.