Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to go see Taylor Swift for the first time at Nissan Stadium in Nashville for The Eras Tour! As someone who has been a pretty hardcore Swiftie for many years I was SO excited to see her perform (to put it lightly!!!). The show was absolutely INCREDIBLE, even in the pouring rain!!!
Here is a recap of my experience at Nissan Stadium as it relates to wheelchair accessibility!
ADA Ticket Sales
I bought ADA tickets through the Ticketmaster Verified Fan Presale.
I waited in the queue for 7 hours not knowing if ADA tickets were being sold (w/ Harry Styles at The Forum, ADA tickets weren’t sold during the presale- that was an ADA violation. ADA tickets must be sold at the same time and in the same methods as other tickets).
I emailed and called the venue multiple times in the days leading up to the presale, but didn’t hear back until after the sale. The venue did offer to exchange non-ADA tickets to ADA tickets, but I didn’t need that assistance.
Exchanging Non-ADA Seats For ADA Seats
I had a friend in a manual wheelchair who was able to exchange non-ADA seats for ADA seats on the day of the concert.
She was instructed to arrive at the venue early and speak to a representative at the Customer Service window behind section 108.
Entering & Exiting The Venue
Nissan Stadium has an ADA drop off and pick up zone located at the south end of the stadium, on S 1st Street & Victory Lane, near Lot J and Gates 2/3.
This was great when I was getting dropped off, but my ride was not allowed to pick me up there at the end of the show. I’m not sure why.
I ended up meeting my ride at one of the parking lots at the stadium and was able to get there without issues via sidewalk.
I sat in section 307 in the ADA row.
I had no problems seeing over the people in front of me, which has been my problem at concerts lately.
I was confused and disappointed to see that out of 16 seats in this section, there were only 4 spots with plastic chairs that could be removed to make space for a wheelchair user. The seats that had removable chairs in the ADA row of section 307 were seats #1, 9, 15, 16. The other 12 seats were typical stadium seats that were bolted to the ground. I happened to have purchased one of the four seats that could be removed to make room for my wheelchair. My manual wheelchair is on the very small end for an adult chair (22 inches/56 cm wide), so I don’t expect that many adult wheelchair users would be able to fit into that seat. This leaves 3 out of 16 spots reasonably available for an adult wheelchair user. In the ADA row! There was no indication that there were any bolted seats in this section, or that most seats in this section would not be suitable for a wheelchair user.
The staff member in our section let my group slide to the end of our row, where I was able to fit much more comfortably. I would have gone back to my original seat if someone had a greater need for my new seat, but no one else did.
At one point before the concert, the first level where my friends and I were became extremely crowded. My friend and I did not feel safe, and a very nice fan helped us navigate through the crowd to a less crowded area. A kind employee also let us use the club level elevators to get back to our seats, because it wasn’t safe or realistic for me to go back through the crowd to get to the elevators we were supposed to use, at the far end of the concourse.
Other than that experience, navigating crowds was not that difficult.
Overall I was able to have a decent experience with the accessibility at Nissan Stadium, but there are definitely areas for improvement with communication, ADA pick up, and the type of seats in the ADA row.
I think the ADA row of section 307 (and all ADA areas throughout the venue) should have plastic folding chairs that can be easily moved for mobility aids. This is typical of an ADA row almost every other venue I’ve been to, and would provide a great benefit to mobility aid users and an equally functional seat for someone who doesn’t use a mobility aid.
Listening to artists I love (especially Taylor!) and talking about her music and all of the theories that come along with being a Swiftie is something that has truly filled me with lots of joy over the past several years. I have a lot of friends who also love Taylor and it has brought me closer to many people. Being a Swiftie (and fan of music in general) has allowed me to connect with my friends (and people who have become friends!) through something that I get to experience on a completely level playing field, which honestly can be a hard thing to come by. Disabled fans should be able to have wonderful live communal experiences just like non-disabled fans.