Wheelchair woman snubbed
VICKI LAZZARINI, 38, of Ballina, had been looking forward to seeing her idols Duran Duran from a highly-prized fourth row seat at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
Similar arrangements had enabled her to see the English pop superstars of the 1980s in both Brisbane and Sydney.
However, her hopes for similar treatment in Adelaide have been dashed because the centre will not allow wheelchair access on to the floor of the arena.
Ms Lazzarini has been in a wheelchair for nearly 20 years.
"I've seen Duran Duran before in Brisbane at the Entertainment Centre and they have dealt with me in exactly the same manner that Sydney (Entertainment Centre) did no dramas. It was the same row and everything. I did the same thing for Adelaide and thought I'd give them a call and hit a brick wall straight away," she said.
Ms Lazzarini said she had contacted the Adelaide Entertainment Centre only to be told about possible problems with floor seats for disabled persons.
"It's fair enough that they outlined the problem, the fact that there is 32 stairs down to the arena floor where the seats are, but they weren't willing to budge," she said.
CEO of the Adelaide Entertainment Centre Anthony Kirchner said that despite not being able to offer Ms Lazzarini her fourth row seat, she would still have access to the disabled viewing point in the centre.
"The experience we provide to our disabled patrons and the additional services that we provide them are equal if not better than any other arena in Australia," Mr Kirchner said.
"With any disabled patron purchasing tickets they are required to identify that they are disabled to ensure a venue such as ours can service their needs as best we possibly can.
"The issue would be, if any disabled person in a wheelchair was to purchase fourth row tickets at a venue then they are at risk of not seeing any of the concert if the people in front of them choose to stand up."
The battle for prime position at the concert may reach a compromise with Mr Kirchner and the entertainment centre pushing for special access for Lazzarini.
"We've gone to extraordinary lengths, we've already contacted the promoter to try and get her side of stage so she can get the best seat in the house," Mr Kirchner said.
Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor, when told of Ms Lazzarini's plight; "I'll see what I can do."