HOUSTON – The U.S. Attorney’s Office will conduct a compliance review of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to evaluate accessibility for disabled individuals planning to attend the event, U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery announced Tuesday.
The investigation stems from complaints that RodeoHouston, which will run from Feb. 28 to March 20, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The allegations include failing to provide accessible parking, accessible seating, and accessible routes. The review will be conducted under Title III of the ADA which prohibits private places of public accommodation to discriminate against individuals with disabilities.
Since 1932, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has claimed it has committed more than $550 million to Texas youth and education, including $27 million to scholarships, junior show exhibitors, educational program grants and graduate assistantships. It further claims to be one of the largest scholarship providers in the country.
The HLSR also reports that in 2019, it generated a total economic impact of $227 million and total economic activity of $391 million in Greater Houston. Over 2.5 million people attended the Houston Rodeo in 2019.
To file a comment or complaint, or to learn more about the ADA, individuals can contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas at (713) 567-9140 or via email.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo released the following statement surrounding the allegations:
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a family-friendly event, and we are committed to providing an open and accessible event for everyone.
We look forward to working with the U.S. Department of Justice and have expressed our willingness to cooperate.
We are not aware of any specific ADA complaints, and are committed to meeting or exceeding ADA requirements. However, if any issues arise, the Rodeo will work with NRG Park to make any adjustments needed.
In addition to ADA requirements, the Rodeo has many additional opportunities for our guests, including a Sensory Friendly Day on Friday, March 4, competitions and activities for special needs individuals, and services for the visually and hearing impaired.