Sports Law • Risk Management


March 29, 2011: A Dead Body Should Not Be Brought to a Soccer Game

In Columbia a group of avid soccer fans paid a unique tribute to their friend who was murdered. The fans carried the dead body of a seventeen-year-old, who was resting in his coffin, into a stadium for a professional soccer game. This raises the question: Were the group of friends required to purchase a ticket for the entrance of this unusual guest? Not to make light of the gravity of their friend’s death, but ticket takers for the game had to have noticed a group of fans carrying a large wooden coffin into the stadium.

December 21, 2010: Post Football Game Snowball Fight Leads to Lawsuit

On December 21, 2008, after the Seahawks won against the Jets, fans threw snowballs at the Jets players. Rather than just ignore the flying snowballs as other players did, Shaun Ellis, threw a large chunk of snow or ice and into the stands. It appeared from a video that a fan held that large chunk of snow or ice in the air, seeming to celebrate or dance around a bit. It did not appear that such fan was injured in any way.

October 4, 2010: Sports and the Recession's Effect on Ticket Sales

As a result of the recession, season tickets sales are down for the third consecutive year is the report from the Associated Press published on September 8, 2010 in an article found on the NFL website. Last year the Washington Redskins resorted to suing season ticket holders who had agreed to multiple-year contracts but due to job loss or other economic pressures asked to be released from their contractual obligation. The Redskins tried to renegotiate some contracts, but lawsuits were filed against those season ticket holders who were unable to fulfill even the renegotiated terms.

July 14, 2010: A Lesson From Wal-Mart in Crowd Control

Managing crowd control is a lesson that can be learned from Wal-Mart. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) imposed a modest fine against Wal-Mart following the customers’ trampling of its employee, which led to the employee’s death. Customers lined up outside of a New York based Wal-Mart in anticipation of an after Thanksgiving sale there. OSHA accuses Wal-Mart of failing to protect its employee from a situation that would likely cause such serious physical harm.

July 13, 2010: Jersey Swapping at the World Cup

Jersey swapping after a soccer game is a common practice since 1931 and has occurred in the World Cup since 1954. This begs for sports teams to accommodate for this tradition. That means sports teams will need to budget to foot the bill to replace the swapped uniforms. Even if a player profits from the sale of a swapped jersey, the team cannot likely expect to recover expenses from any of the proceeds. Another consideration for soccer clubs is the anxiety that might be caused in fans, or amongst players, who are eager to acquire a particular jersey.

July 12, 2010: Thoughts on the Uganda Blast

Our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the victims of the terrorist attacks that killed and injured fans watching the World Cup final in Uganda on Sunday. It is my understanding that the al-Quaida aligned group, al-Shabab, took responsibility for the killings that occurred at gatherings that took place at a restaurant and a rugby field.