DJ# 202-14-105

I. Background

    A.     The Parties to this Settlement Agreement (“Agreement”) are the United States of America (“United States“), [redacted] (“[redacted]”), the City of Hartford (the “City”), Connecticut Innovations, Incorporated (“CI”) (formerly Connecticut Development Authority or CDA), AEG Management CT LLC (“AEG”), Northland Trumbull Block LLC and Northland Tower Block LLC (together, “Northland”), and the University of Connecticut (the “University”) (hereinafter collectively referred to as the “Parties”).

    B.     The subject of this Agreement is the XL Center, a stadium located in Hartford, Connecticut, with a seating capacity of approximately 16,000. The structure, originally called the Hartford Civic Center, was built between 1971 and 1975 and first opened on January 9, 1975. On January 18, 1978, the roof of the Civic Center collapsed, and it was closed for renovations until February 6, 1980. As relevant to this Agreement, additional renovations to the stadium occurred in or about 1994 (sky box), 1996 (ticket sales area), 1997 (team locker rooms), 2000 (Coliseum Club), 2003 (concession area), and 2005 (concourse restrooms). The Civic Center was renamed the XL Center in 2007.

    C.     The City, the University and CI are public entities covered by title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Northland and AEG are private entities covered by title III of the ADA.

    D.     Due to the ownership/leasehold structure of the XL Center, as described below, entities covered by title II of the ADA and entities covered by title III of the ADA are liable for the facility’s compliance with the ADA.

    E.     The ownership/leasehold structure of the XL Center site (“XL Center Site”), which is the city block bounded by Trumbull, Asylum, Ann Uccello (formerly Ann) and Church Streets in Hartford, Connecticut, is as follows:

    1. The land is owned by the City.
    2. The Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the Exhibition Hall, the Assembly Hall, the private parking level known as P3, the Coliseum Club, the Skyboxes and related areas (the “XL Center Improvements”) are owned by the City and leased to CI.
    3. CI has subleased the XL Center Improvements to AEG, and AEG also manages the XL Center Improvements.
    4. Northland has an air space lease from the City for the remainder of the XL Center Site. Northland has redeveloped the former Civic Center Mall and built a residential tower on the site (the “Northland Improvements”). Northland owns the Northland Improvements. The Northland Improvements also include the public parking levels known as P1 and P2.
    5. There are several cross-easements for use by CI of certain spaces within the Northland Improvements, and for use by Northland of certain spaces within the XL Center Improvements. For example, the atrium/lobby area outside of the southeast entrance to the Coliseum and the box office is actually within the Northland Improvements area, and CI has easement rights for Coliseum patrons to use this area.

    F.    This matter began with a complaint filed by [redacted] with the United States alleging that the XL Center is in violation of the ADA, in that it contains architectural barriers to access by individuals with disabilities (the “Complaint”). More specifically, the Complaint alleged that the XL Center is not accessible to patrons who use wheelchairs in that it does not contain accessible seating that provides an acceptable line of sight; its toilet rooms, concession counters, and drinking fountains are not accessible; and its accessible parking is insufficient or deficient. The Complaint additionally alleged that the University is in violation of title II of the ADA when it holds basketball games and other events sponsored by the University at the XL Center due to the XL Center’s inaccessible features. Finally, the Complaint alleged that the ticketing policies of the XL Center, and the University with respect to University events held at the XL Center, violate the ADA in that they do not permit the purchase of tickets for accessible seats at the same times and by the same methods as the purchase of regular tickets.

    G.    Title II of the ADA prohibits State and local governments from discriminating against any individual with a disability, on the basis of disability, by excluding such individual from participation in or denying such individual the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of the public entity. 42 U.S.C. § 12132; 28 C.F.R. § 35.130(a). No qualified individuals with a disability shall, because a public entity’s facilities are inaccessible to or unusable by individuals with disabilities, be excluded from participation in, or be denied the benefits of the services, program, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any public entity. 28 C.F.R. § 35.149.

    H.    Title III of the ADA provides that no individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a). Under title III of the ADA, covered entities must remove architectural barriers to access where such removal is readily achievable. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(2)(A)(iv); 28 C.F.R. § 36.304. Title III further provides that any alteration to a place of public accommodation or a commercial facility, after January 26, 1992, shall be made so as to ensure that, to the maximum extent feasible, the altered portions of the facility are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs. 28 C.F.R. § 36.402-403.

    I.    The United States is authorized to investigate alleged violations of titles II and III of the ADA, and to bring a civil action in federal court if the United States is unable to secure voluntary compliance. 42 U.S.C. §§ 12133, 12188.

    J.    The United States conducted an investigation which included review of the architectural information and on-site inspections of the XL Center on February 23-24, 2011 and August 17, 2012.

    K.    The United States identified certain alleged ADA violations in a letter of findings to counsel for the owners and operators of the XL Center dated June 9, 2011.

    L.    In response to the Complaint and following the United States’ investigation, the owners, operators, lessors, and lessees of the XL Center (currently, the City, CI, AEG and Northland) (collectively, the “XL Center Parties”) have made modifications to the XL Center to address many of the alleged violations. The XL Center Parties have agreed to make certain additional modifications to the XL Center, which additional modifications are specified in paragraph P to this Agreement.

    The modifications to the XL Center which have already been made include, but are not limited to, the following: Interior doors that are required for passage have been adjusted so that no more than 5 pounds force is required to open them; automatic faucets were installed on all accessible lavatories in each toilet room and piping underneath each lavatory was covered; accessible lavatories with self-closing faucets have been modified so that they remain open for at least 10 seconds; automatic flushers were installed on accessible urinals and toilets; baby changing stations were lowered to the required height in all restrooms where located; accessible signs in accessible locations have been mounted at doors at exit passageways, exit discharge, and exit stairways; room identification signs and soda vending machines have been lowered so that controls are ADA compliant; objects, including signs, that were protruding into the circulation path by more than 4” (with undersides more than 27” above the floor) have been corrected or protected by a barrier to prevent collisions; mirrors in toilet rooms have been lowered so that the reflective edge is within 40” of the floor and controls such as towel dispensers have been moved to within 48” of the floor; accessible condiment tables and accessible bottled water fountains have been added to the stadium; and both a visual alarm system and an assisted listening system have been installed. The XL Center Parties agree to maintain these areas as well as others modified in accordance with this Agreement in compliance with the ADA.

    M.    In response to the Complaint and following the investigation, AEG and the University also have modified their ticketing policies and procedures to make them compliant with the ADA and regulations thereunder. Title II and title III provide respectively that a public entity and/or public accommodation that sells tickets for a single event or series of events shall modify its policies, practices, or procedures to ensure that individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity to purchase tickets for accessible seating, during the same hours, the same stages of ticket sales, through the same methods of distribution, in the same types and numbers of ticketing sales outlets, and under the same terms and conditions as other tickets sold for the same event or series of events. 28 C.F.R. § 35.138; 28 C.F.R. § 36.302(f).

    N.    The Parties now desire to resolve the remaining claims made in the Complaint consistent with this Agreement. In consideration of the terms of this Agreement, the United States and [redacted] agree to refrain from undertaking further action based on the Complaint, except as provided in Paragraph U. [redacted] specifically agrees to withdraw her complaint with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

    II. Terms of Agreement

    O.    The XL Center Parties agree to remove the barriers to access in accordance with this Agreement as listed in Paragraph P. The XL Center Parties further agree that modifications to the XL Center must comply with the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design (the 2010 Standards), See 28 CFR § 36.104 (defining the “2010 Standards” as the requirements set forth in appendices B and D to 36 CFR part 1191 and the requirements contained in subpart D of 28 CFR part 36).

    P.    The XL Center Parties (excluding Northland) agree to make the following additional modifications to the XL Center:

    1)     Two toilet rooms total, the men’s toilet room located on the Church Street Concourse outside of Sections 118 and 119, and women’s toilet room located on the Main Concourse, outside Sections 102 and 103, shall each be renovated by June 30, 2013 to provide one fully accessible men’s toilet room and one fully accessible women’s toilet room. See the 2010 Standards §§ 205, 213, 309, 603, 604, 605, and 606. The signs for such toilet rooms shall include the International Symbol of Accessibility. See the 2010 Standards §§ 216.8 and 703.7.2.1. Where existing toilet rooms are not accessible, directional signs indicating the location of the nearest accessible toilet room within the facility shall be provided.

    2)     For the concession stands not already modified, the concession staff has been, and will continue to be, trained to greet and service clients with disabilities.

    3)     For the area identified as the former press box, such area shall be renovated to provide for the addition of a minimum of 25 ADA-compliant seats by June 30, 2013. See the Title II Regulations 28 CFR § 35.151(g), Title III Regulations 28 CFR § 36.406(f), 2010 Standards §§ 221 and 802. Such renovation may include the removal of the second-row seating presently in place if feasible. Any entryway into the old press box area, including any ramps, shall be modified to comply with the ADA. See the 2010 Standards Chapter 4. In addition, any other architectural barriers identified during the renovation of such area shall also be addressed, if feasible. Any entryway into the old press box area, including any ramps, shall have the grade/slope modified to comply with the ADA. See the 2010 Standards § 405.2. The parties acknowledge that the existing width of the ramp and entryway is in compliance with the ADA standards.

    4)     For any future events to be held at the XL Center where a contract has not yet been secured, the operator of the XL Center agrees to ask that the event promoter or event contract representative adopt a flexible seating arrangement, whereby a combination of floor seats, seats in front of the current ADA-compliant seats on the Main Concourse level, seats in the Coliseum Club, and seats in the former press box area, be utilized, where feasible, to provide for the maximum-available ADA-compliant seating. The operator shall request that the rows in front of the Main Concourse level wheelchair accessible seats only be available for sale when the remaining portion of the section has been filled, so as to enable patrons in those accessible seats to have unobstructed lines of sight when possible. At all times, the XL Center operator shall strive to provide for as many ADA-compliant seats as feasible, up to the levels required by the ADA. However, it is the intent of this paragraph to provide the operator of the XL Center with flexibility to determine the appropriate seating for any particular event, taking into account appropriate business factors in making such a determination while providing as many ADA-compliant seats as possible.

    Q.    The XL Center Parties shall maintain compliance with the ADA. Beginning six months after the Effective Date of this Agreement, and each six months thereafter, for the duration of this Agreement, each of the XL Center Parties will provide a written report (“Compliance Report”) to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, detailing the status of its compliance with this Agreement. The Compliance Reports shall include documentation of the architectural items remedied, including photographs, plans, and other documents which substantiate compliance with this Agreement. In addition to receiving the Compliance Reports, the United States may review compliance with this Agreement at any time by requesting information or documents from any of the Parties, which shall not be unreasonably withheld, and visiting the XL Center.

    Each XL Center Party agrees to designate a specific employee to coordinate the implementation and management of the ADA compliance of the XL Center, including but not limited to implementing this Agreement, overseeing the implementation and management of the XL Center’s accessible seating policies, insuring future ADA compliance, and educating and training employees on the ADA’s requirements. The University agrees to designate a specific employee to oversee the University’s compliance with its obligations under this Agreement.

    R.    AEG and the University shall maintain their ticketing policies and procedures in compliance with the ADA and regulations thereunder.

    S.    Within twenty (20) business days from the Effective Date of this Agreement, CI shall pay Cohen and Wolf the sum of Twenty Thousand and No/100 Dollars ($20,000.00) as reimbursement for [redacted]’s legal fees and costs in connection with this matter (“Fees”). Within twenty (20) business days from the Effective Date of this Agreement, CI shall pay [redacted] the sum of Three Thousand and No/100 Dollars ($3,000.00) as compensatory damages for nonphysical injuries in connection with this matter (“Damages”; together with the Fees, the “Settlement Amount”). In consideration of the payment of the Settlement Amount and other good and valuable consideration described in this Agreement, [redacted], for herself and for her heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns, hereby voluntarily and knowingly waives, releases and covenants not to sue the XL Center Parties or the University, or their respective predecessors, successors, assigns, with respect to any and all claims, demands, damages, liabilities and causes of action, in law or in equity, known or unknown, which [redacted] now has or ever had against the XL Center Parties or the University, or their respective predecessors, successors, assigns, for any losses, injuries or damages resulting from, or arising out of, or connected with the matters addressed in this Agreement, including but not limited to the Complaint and the items listed in this Agreement. All payments described in this paragraph shall be reported on IRS Forms 1099 as appropriate.

    III. Enforcement and Implementation

    T.    If the United States believes that any of the XL Center Parties has failed to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this Agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the United States for a modification of the relevant terms, the United States will so notify each of the XL Center Parties in writing, and the Parties will attempt to resolve the issue or issues in good faith. If the United States is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue or issues raised within thirty (30) days of the date it provides notice to the XL Center Parties, it may institute a civil action in federal district court to enforce the terms of this Agreement or the requirements of titles II and III of the ADA.

    U.    Failure by the United States to enforce this Agreement with respect to any deadline or other provision herein will not be construed as a waiver of the United States’ right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.

    V.    This Agreement shall be binding on the University (paragraphs Q and R), and on the XL Center Parties and their agents and employees. In the event the City, CI, AEG or Northland, or any one of them, seeks to transfer or assign all or part of any its interest as an owner, operator, lessor or lessee in the XL Center as covered by this Agreement, and the successor(s) or assignee(s) intend(s) to carry on the same or similar use of the facility, then, as a condition of such sale or transfer, the City, CI, AEG or Northland, as applicable, shall obtain the written accession of the successor(s) or assignee(s) to any obligations remaining under this Agreement for the remaining term of this Agreement. The Parties acknowledge that upon the termination of the XL Center sublease and operating agreement between AEG and CI, AEG and CI shall provide written documentation of such termination, which documentation shall satisfy AEG’s obligations under this Paragraph V. At such time as such sublease and operating agreement is terminated, CI shall provide written documentation of the accession to this Agreement of the successor operator of the XL Center.

    W.    The Parties acknowledge and agree that nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as a waiver by the State of Connecticut or the University of any rights or defenses of sovereign immunity, which they may have had, now have, or will have with respect to all matters arising out of this Agreement.

    X.    The Agreement shall remain in effect for three (3) years from its Effective Date (as defined below in paragraph CC.).

    Y.    A copy of this document or any information contained in it will be made available to any person upon request, by the XL Center Parties or the United States.

    Z.    This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between 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 will be enforceable. This Agreement does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other federal law. This Agreement does not affect the continuing responsibility of the XL Center Parties to comply with all aspects of the ADA.

    AA.  This Agreement may be executed in counterparts which, when taken together as a whole, shall constitute the complete document, and a facsimile, copy or pdf signature shall have the same force and effect as an original signature.

    BB.   The Effective Date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.

    CC.  The Parties understand and agree that this Agreement (and its execution by the Parties) does not constitute an admission of liability under the ADA by CI, the University, the City, AEG or Northland.

    DD.  Any notice or communication required to be in writing shall be effectively given if addressed to the Party to be notified and deposited with the US Postal Service using certified or registered mail, postage prepaid with return receipt requested, or shipped by a recognized overnight delivery service, or delivered in person or sent by facsimile transmittal (with transmission confirmation). A notice shall be effective, unless otherwise stated in this Agreement: (a) three (3) business days after it is deposited with the US Postal Service; (b) one (1) business day after being sent by recognized overnight delivery service; (c) upon delivery if delivered in person with written receipt confirmation; and (d) the date of receipt of a facsimile transmission confirmed by telephonic acknowledgment or the first business day thereafter if transmitted other than on a business day or after 5:00 p.m. Hartford, Connecticut time. For purposes of notice, the addresses of the Parties shall, until changed as hereinafter provided, be as follows:

To the United States:      Lisa E. Perkins
David C. Nelson
Assistant United States Attorneys
450 Main Street, Room 328
Hartford, CT 06103
Facsimile: (860) 760-7979

To [redacted]:                   [Redacted]

with a copy to:                Gary Phelan, Esq.
Cohen and Wolf, P.C.
320 Post Road West
Westport, CT 06880
Facsimile: (203) 394-9901

To CI:                             Connecticut Innovations, Inc.
865 Brook Street
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
Attn: Philip B. Siuta, Sr. Vice President/Controller
Facsimile: (860) 563-4877

with a copy to:                 Mary Jo Andrews, Esq.
Shipman & Goodwin LLP
One Constitution Plaza
Hartford, CT 06103
Facsimile: (860) 251-5213

To the City:                     Chief Operating Officer
City of Hartford
550 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06103
Attn: Corporation Counsel, Saundra Kee Borges, Esq.
Facsimile: (860) 722-8114

with a copy to:                Catharine H. Freeman
Assistant Corporation Counsel
City of Hartford
550 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06103
Facsimile: (860) 722-8114

To the University:           Richard Gray
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer University of Connecticut
352 Mansfield Road, Unit 1122
Storrs, CT 06269-1122
Facsimile (860) 486-1070

with a copy to:                Holly Bray
Assistant Attorney General
University of Connecticut
Mansfield, CT 06268

To AEG:                         John E. Keenan III
AEG Entertainment Group
800 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 305

with a copy to:                Daniel A. Schwartz, Esq.
Pullman & Comley LLP
90 State House Square
Hartford, CT 06103

To Northland:                 Northland Tower Block, LLC and
Northland Trumbull Block, LLC
2150 Washington Street
Newton, MA 02462
Attn: Peter M. Standish, Jr.
Facsimile: 617-965-7101

with a copy to:                Suzanne Abair
Sr. Vice President and General Counsel
Northland Investment Corporation
2150 Washington Street
Newton, MA 02462
Facsimile: 617-965-7101

Each Party shall have the right to change the place or person to which notices shall be sent by delivering a notice to the other Parties in the manner provided above in this paragraph.

United States of America

Acting United States Attorney

By:  /s/ Lisa Perkins and David Nelson
Lisa E. Perkins
David C. Nelson
Assistant United States Attorneys
Date:  June 24, 2013


/s/ [redacted]
Date:  6/24, 2013

Connecticut Innovations, Inc.

By:  /s/ Philip Siuta
Name: Philip Siuta
Title: CFO
Date: June 25, 2013

City of Hartford

By: /s/ Saundra Kee Borges
Name: Saundra Kee Borges
Title: Acting COO
Date: 6/28/13, 2013

AEG Management CT LLC

By: /s/ John E. Keenan III
Title: Assistant Secretary
Date: 6/26, 2013

Northland Tower Block LLC

By:/s/ Suzanne Abair
Name: Suzanne Abair
Title: Secretary
Date: June 24, 2013

Northland Trumbull Block LLC

By: /s/ Suzanne Abair
Name: Suzanne Abair
Title: Secretary
Date: June 24, 2013

University of Connecticut

By: /s/ Richard D. Gray
Name:Richard D. Gray
Date: 6/26, 2013