Settlement Agreement | Department of Justice Press Releases


1. This Settlement Agreement (Agreement) is made and entered into by the United States of America (United States) and the Baltimore Ravens Limited Partnership (the Ravens). Together, the United States and the Ravens will be referred to hereinafter as the "Parties".

2. This Agreement resolves an investigation of the Ravens conducted by the United States Department of Justice under title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181-12189 (ADA), concerning accessible parking spaces that serve spectators attending Baltimore Ravens football games at PSINet Stadium (Stadium) located in Baltimore, Maryland.

3. The Parties agree as follows:


4. This Agreement shall remain in effect for a period of three years from the date it becomes effective.


5. The term "Department" refers to the U.S. Department of Justice, and, because the Department is the designated enforcement authority for the ADA under title III of the ADA, "Department" is used interchangeably with "United States."

6. The Ravens is a Limited Partnership that owns and operates the Baltimore Ravens NFL franchise. The Ravens take reservations for certain parking areas within the parking area designated to serve the Stadium. The United States asserts that the Ravens, therefore, is a private entity that operates a place of public accommodation within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12182 (a), and 28 C.F.R. § 36.201(a), and is subject to title III of the ADA.

7. The Department asserts that the Ravens operate the parking area on a limited number of days each year. Accordingly, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Agreement, the terms of this Agreement apply to the Ravens only to the extent and during the times that the Ravens operate or bear responsibility for operation of the parking area. The terms of this Agreement thus may impose liability on the Ravens only with respect to Ravens home football games and any other events for which the Ravens take reservations for parking areas within the parking area designated to serve the Stadium.


8. The United States asserts that the Stadium is a public accommodation within the meaning of title III, 42 U.S.C. § 12181(7)(C), and a place of public accommodation within the meaning of 28 C.F.R. § 36.104. The United States asserts that the Stadium is also a non-residential facility whose operations affect commerce and is, therefore, a commercial facility within the meaning of title III. 42 U.S.C. § 12181(2), and 28 C.F.R. § 36.104.


9. This matter was initiated by a complaint filed with the Department by a person with a disability who attends Ravens football games. The complaint alleges that the Ravens discriminated against a person with a disability in violation of the ADA by failing to provide persons who needed accessible parking with an equal opportunity to reserve parking spaces in advance. The Disability Rights Section undertook an investigation under the authority granted by section 308(b) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b).

10. The United States asserts that from June 2000 through the present, the Department conducted an in-depth investigation (the Department's File No. 202-35-135) of the parking area, as well as the policies, practices and procedures used by the Ravens when operating the parking area for Ravens football games. The Department asserts that it enters into this Agreement on the basis of the results of that investigation.

11. The United States asserts that the Ravens have implemented a policy that denies persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in or benefit from the advantage of reserved parking provided to Club Seat members who do not require accessible parking in violation of title III of the ADA. 28 C.F.R. 36.202 and 36.203(b).

12. The Ravens do not admit the truth of any of the alleged facts, characterizations of their alleged conduct, or conclusions asserted by the Department in this Agreement. The Ravens enter into this Agreement without prejudice to their rights to assert in any subsequent action or proceeding that they are not operators of the Stadium or parking area under the ADA and that any conditions identical or similar to those alleged in this Agreement do not violate the ADA or impose liability on the Ravens.

13. The Ravens deny that they have violated the ADA and nothing in this Agreement should be taken as an admission, explicit or implicit, that such violation has taken place.



14. Within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Ravens will:

a. Modify their existing policies to allow people with disabilities who have Club Level or suite seating and require an accessible parking space to reserve such a space, in advance, in the same manner as those who do not require an accessible space;

b. Train all of their employees who deal with parking reservations for Club Level or suite ticket holders in the requirements embodied in the policy reflected in Section 14.a of this Agreement and the ways of ensuring its implementation.

c. Train their employees with responsibility for assigning parking so that they are aware of the location of the accessible or van-accessible parking spaces.

Parking Directions Flyer

15. To the extent the Ravens distribute a parking directions flyer, they agree to distribute a parking directions flyer substantially in the form as set forth in Exhibit A.


16. In consideration for the actions undertaken by the Ravens under the terms of this Agreement, the United States agrees to refrain from filing suit or conducting further investigation of this matter except as provided in this Agreement or to enforce the terms of this Agreement.

17. The Department may monitor and review compliance with this Agreement at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice.

18. If the Department believes this Agreement or any provision of it has been violated, the Department shall promptly notify the Ravens in writing of the nature of the alleged violation(s), and, within ten days of receipt by the Ravens of said written notice from the Department, the Ravens shall either satisfy the Department that no violation has taken place, or initiate and diligently pursue a cure of any such violation, to the Department's reasonable satisfaction. In each instance where the Department makes a reasonable determination that a violation of the Agreement has taken place and that a cure has not been initiated and diligently pursued within the ten-day period specified, or where the Ravens fail to adequately respond to the Department's written notice, the Department may exercise its rights under this Agreement or the ADA to enforce the provisions of the Agreement or of title III of the ADA.

19. The parties agree that the Ravens may allow certain guests other than Club Level or suite ticket holders to park in Lots B and C, provided that this does not interfere with the Ravens' obligations under this Agreement or the ADA.

20. Failure by the United States to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision of it with regard to any deadline or any other provision contained herein shall not be construed as a waiver by the United States of any right to do so.

21. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained herein may be made available to any person. The Ravens, at their option, shall either provide a copy of this Agreement upon request or refer any person who inquires about obtaining a copy of this Agreement to the Department at the address and telephone number indicated following the Department's signature lines within this document.

22. This Agreement shall be binding on the Ravens and their successors in interest. The Ravens have a duty to notify all such successors in interest of these obligations.

23. If any provision of this Agreement is affected by any future proceeding in bankruptcy, the Parties shall jointly apply to the Bankruptcy Court for withdrawal to the United States District Court for the District of Maryland for resolution of the matter.

24. This Agreement, including the exhibit attached hereto, constitutes the entire agreement among the Parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement, shall be enforceable. In the event a court of competent jurisdiction concludes that any part of this Agreement is unenforceable, such portion shall be severed from this Agreement and all other portions shall remain enforceable.

25. This Agreement does not affect any continuing responsibility of the Ravens to comply with the ADA, where applicable, concerning: (a) the responsibilities the Ravens may incur toward employees under titles I and III of the ADA; and (b) the sale or provision of tickets for events held in the Stadium.

26. The Parties hereby represent and acknowledge that this Agreement is given and executed voluntarily and is not based upon any representation by either party to the other party as to the merits, legal liability, or value of any claims of the Parties or any matters related thereto.

27. The Parties acknowledge that they have been afforded an opportunity to consider this Agreement and the terms and conditions set forth herein, and that they have read and understood the terms of this Agreement and have been given an opportunity to consult with their respective counsel prior to executing this Agreement.

28. Signers of this document, in representative capacities for the Ravens or the Department, respectively, represent that they are authorized to bind such entity to this Agreement.

29. In any instance where notice is required to be given to either party to this Agreement, such notice shall be provided in writing, sent via certified or registered U.S. Mail, return receipt requested, to the following individuals in their capacity as representatives of the parties to this Agreement:

The Department:

John L. Wodatch, Section Chief
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66738
Washington, D.C. 20035-6738

The Ravens:

Michael Colglazier, Esquire
Hogan & Hartson L.L.P.
111 South Calvert Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

30. This Agreement may be executed in several counterparts, each of which shall be an original and shall constitute one and the same instrument. The exhibit hereto is hereby incorporated by specific reference into this Agreement, and its terms are made a part of this Agreement as though fully recited herein.

31. The date this Agreement becomes effective is the date of the last signature below.


Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights

NAOMI MILTON, Supervisory Attorney
SUSAN G. QUINN, Investigator

Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66738
Washington, DC 20035-6738
(202) 307-0982



By: Luis R. Perez

Title: Vice President and Chief Financial Officer





Lots usually fill in the following order: B, C, and then R.

Directions to Lot R

From Eastbound Hamburg Street - Lot B

From Lee Street - Lot C

From Westbound Hamburg Street - Lot B

When all accessible lots are full, additional parking is available in Lot J to its capacity. However, these spaces are not accessible, and do not necessarily have an accessible route to the stadium. Also, if you prefer, the accessible drop-off is available on the Northbound Russell Street Service Drive adjacent to Lot R.

Directions to Lot J from Lot R


December 20, 2001