Joseph Parker's promoters Duco defend wheelchair seating ticket process

Joseph Parker and Yakup Saglam during their bout on June 13, 2015 at Arena Manawatu in Palmerston North, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Heydon/Getty Images)
Joseph Parker and Yakup Saglam during their bout on June 13, 2015 at Arena Manawatu in Palmerston North, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Heydon/Getty Images)

Duco Events has defended their ticket policy for spectators in wheelchairs hoping to attend Joseph Parker's fight this week, promising to cater for all disabled fans.

Disgruntled fan Tina Woods complained to Duco about the lack of disabled access for her partner and was advised there were disabled seats available - but she needed to bid for a ticket before being informed if those spots had filled up.

"The way to get these seats, is to bid on an auction, dependent on how many seats you require and if/when you win, we would allocate your seats in an area where a wheelchair could be placed," a Duco employee told Fairfax media. "This was the fair way to do it."

But Woods was unimpressed with the response and let her feelings known in an email to Duco, reported by Fairfax.

"I know it is not your decision but that is ridiculous! You are asking a disabled person to bid on an auction and if they win you will then tell them if they can be seated! If not what do they do if the allocated spaces are all gone? Do you really realise these people can't walk and don't have a choice."

Duco promoter Dean Lonergan said he would not make special allowances for disabled spectators but guaranteed that anyone needing wheelchair access would be catered for.

"We should be able to accommodate for everyone who is coming in a wheelchair but they have to go through the TradeMe process," Lonergan told Fairfax. "Why should they get special treatment in terms of the bidding process?

"We're an equal opportunities business. They have to enter into the TradeMe auctions just like everybody else.

"Every single wheelchair person who is trying to buy a ticket will get a ticket."

There were six wheelchair seats made available for Parker's IBF eliminator fight against Carlos Takam on Saturday at the Manukau events centre. At this stage three have been sold.

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