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Lawsuit brought by the Family of the Denver Bronco Fan who Fell

 

 

On the 24th of October 2016, a thirty-six years old Denver Bronco fan named Jason Coy fell from a railing during a game at the Mile-High Sports Authority Field. The sixty feet fall caused numerous fractures and blunt traumas to the skull, head and neck among other parts of his body, ultimately resulting in his death the next day. Jason Coy was sitting on the railing when he tumbled over to the fire escape after losing his balance. He is survived by his wife and five children, the oldest is eleven years old and the youngest is just six months old.

 

A year after his death, Coy’s widow has filed a lawsuit against the stadium, the sports authority and a half dozen others for causing the death by negligence. Among the defendants are the Metropolitan Football Stadium District and sports & stadiums management company Bowlen Sports Inc. Coy’s family is being represented by James Bramer. The lawsuit states that the fire escape at the stadium is not safe as it lacks uniform steps and railings, thus posing unreasonable risk to patrons. The lawsuit primarily seeks compensation for lost wages of Jason Coy but also to compensate for the pain & suffering of the immediate kin. Officials of the stadium district have not commented on the case, nor has Broncos.

 

Fans getting injured at sporting events and in stadiums is not uncommon, albeit not all injuries prove to be fatal. Not too long ago, a fan was severely injured at Fenway Park. Baseball fans have had accidents across the country. Fourteen-year-old Alan Fish died after being hit by a ball struck by Manny Mota of L.A. Dodgers at their home stadium. Susan Rhodes had a broken jaw after being struck in the face by debris of a maple bat at the same Dodger Stadium. She sued Rawlings, the bat maker, and the stadium. Thirty-nine-year-old Wendy Whitehead was hit by a foul ball at a 2010 San Angelo Colts game. She was hit in the temple and died the following day. Thirty-nine-year-old Shannon Stone died at a Texas Rangers game in 2011. More recently, a Chicago Cubs fan was seriously injured after Addison Russell lost the grip of his bat and it went flying into the stands.

 

It is not just baseball or football. Hockey and racing fans are also often injured during the game. Thirteen-year-old Brittanie Cecil died in 2002 after being hit by a puck in the head at a game between Calgary Flames and Columbus Blue Jackets. The league added netting at the two ends of the ice for additional protection after this tragic incident. Fans of many teams have been struck by pucks and these have resulted in many lawsuits over the years. The safety net has also proven to be ineffective at times. Patrician Higgins was hit in her face during the final game of the 2013 Stanley Cup. She too had filed a lawsuit later.

 

Jason Coy’s case is different from injuries caused by sporting mishaps. It has more to do with the infrastructural setup than untoward consequences of the game. We will have to wait for the verdict of the district court in Denver.

 

Lawsuits & Sports Stadiums

 

Those in charge of sports stadiums wield a considerable degree of power within their respective cities. This is particularly true of championship dynasties, or with teams that maintain strong attendance, regardless of how the team actually performs. Teams with clout are teams that bring considerable commerce and tourism to the city in question. That is a great deal of power.

 

At the same time, sports stadiums must also juggle a staggering array of concerns. One of the biggest concerns involves the subject of liability. A number of recent lawsuits have served to make it very clear to these sports stadiums that liability concerns are legitimate concerns.

 

Sports Stadiums And Lawsuits

The notion of a class-action lawsuit is something that all sports and stadium owners have to take seriously. A recent one leveled against Major League Baseball made it clear that many believe baseball and other major sports are not doing enough to protect attendees. Naturally, Major League Baseball, stadium owners, and other parties would deny this claim. They would make it clear in no uncertain terms that they do everything possible to protect fans and others.

 

Maybe so, but the fact remains that accidents and lawsuits still occur. A good example of this would be Gail Payne. It was Payne who got the class-action lawsuit against MLB off the ground, in terms of her standing as the lead plaintiff. It was Payne, an Oakland A’s fan, who became concerned over the fact that her section was not protected by the right kind of netting. This concern was heightened by an experience Payne had, in which a fan sitting near to her was injured by a foul ball. The lawsuit alleged that fans were at a serious risk for injury or worse, given that they were not as protected or as knowledgeable as the players.

 

This lawsuit is not the only example of a liability concern that stadium owners should take seriously. A recent study from Bloomberg News indicated that approximately 1700 fans were injured each year at baseball games. Tonya Carpenter, a fan who was recently struck by a broken baseball bat at Boston’s Fenway Park, will certainly attest to the need for fan safety to be taken seriously by everyone involved in the game.

 

And remember that baseball is not the only sport that has been made to deal with fan injuries, lawsuits, and other unpleasant matters. NASCAR recently had to deal with the fallout of a wreck that sent vehicle debris flying towards spectators.

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Sports Stadiums and Liability Concerns

Unfortunately, potential dangers to fans are not limited to inside the stadium. While the parking lot of the stadium is not the interior of the stadium, it is still an element of stadium property. Therefore, when we consider a recent news event, involving a fan being attacked and injured outside Dodger Stadium, we have to continue to keep liability in mind.

 

Further complicating things is the fact that liability can become a thorny issue, depending on the particulars of a specific incident. For someone who is injured at a sporting event, there are a number of possibilities for liability. The owner of the venue might be accountable, but it could also turn out to be other fans, the manufacturers of a defective product that caused an accident within stadium property, or even players/facility staff.

 

Again, the answer to the question of liability is going to depend keenly on the specific elements of the incident in question.

 

Ultimately, when it comes to determining who is at fault, it is the responsibility of the individual and their counsel to consider their possibilities carefully. For example, if you wanted to win a premises liability case against a stadium or sports facility, it would be your responsibility to prove that the owner or owners were negligent. While your ticket will make it clear that something like being struck with pucks and balls will be left to the ticket holder to deal with, there can still be an issue of negligence. What this means is that if you didn’t feel as though the facility made every effort possible to ensure your safety, you can pursue the subject of negligence and liability in greater detail.

 

In the end, stadium owners have to be wary of a lot.

Benefits to the Local Community of Having a Major League Sports Stadium

Each and every single year, all of the major sporting leagues around the world – but especially right here in the United States – get a little bit bigger, get a little bit wealthier, and generate even more record-breaking revenue than they did the year before.

The NFL, the NBA, the MLB, and the NHL (and all of the smaller leagues across the US) contribute to a multi-hundred billion dollar a year industry, and each of the people that are lucky enough to own one of these teams are definitely padding their pockets along the way.

This has led some people to wonder whether or not these billionaires on these teams are the ones that are getting the best deal out of the arrangement, and whether or not the people of the city that hosts these major sports stadiums with big-league teams are getting hosed in the process.

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If you’re interested in learning whether or not it’s such a good idea to have a major sports stadium and a major league team in your city, you’re going to want to pay close attention to the info included below.

Major sports teams and stadiums have a major impact on the local economy

It’s impossible to argue that major sports teams and stadiums have anything but a major impact on the local economy, though deciding whether or not that’s good news or bad news is a little bit more challenging.

On the one side, major stadiums and major sporting events are always going to bring a lot of tourists to the city that wouldn’t have showed up otherwise. Baseball teams are able to fill their stadiums with almost 30,000 people or more every single night for 81 nights a year – and more if they make the playoffs. Basketball teams are able to do the same thing 41 nights a year, and football teams are going to draw an almost insane amount of people today to home games they have every year.

Each and every one of these people aren’t just going to be spending money on their tickets to see the game, but also going to be visiting restaurants and bars, visiting shops, and are going to be spending more and more money than your average consumer would while they’re out to visit the game.

At the same time, these stadiums are anything but cheap.

In fact, it almost always costs at least $500 million to build a new state-of-the-art stadium and that’s not including the amount of money that you’re going to have to spend to get rid of the old stadium and re-purpose that land.

That’s a pretty stiff bill for taxpayers to foot.

There are considerable intangible benefits that a sports stadium with a major league team brings to the city

Of course, there are lot of intangible benefits that a sports stadium with a major league team is going to bring to the area as well.

Look at the New York Yankees, for example.

The hat that they wear as part of their uniform has grown to become something else entirely, a stamp on the global culture that comes to symbolize everything that New York is all about. It reaches far beyond the baseball diamond, and dips into cultures all over the world.

The perfect case study – the San Diego Chargers

Of course, if you’re wondering what kind of benefits a major sports stadium offers their local area, look no further than the unique case study of the San Diego Chargers.

For years and years now, the Chargers have been trying to get out from underneath the outdated confines of QUALCOMM Stadium – but so far they haven’t been able to. Qualcomm is an outdated stadium that lacks many of the amenities that newer stadiums today possess. It also lacks a central location, with no legitimate public transportation options which has contributed to a potential increase of drinking and driving. Now that they are actively trying to relocate themselves to Los Angeles, the government of San Diego is trying to do absolutely everything in their power to keep them around. Although many critics would argue that they have not been doing enough considering the fact that the NFL supports the Chargers staying put.

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They understand that if they lose the Chargers they are going to lose a tremendous amount of revenue, businesses in and around the stadium site are going to lose a lot of traffic and a lot of sales, and even though San Diego is attractive in and of itself, it’s going to lose a lot of its draw for a very specific segment of the international tourist market. It not only will have an influence on the area around the stadium, but around the entire county as well. The repercussions will be felt far and wide.

It’ll definitely be interesting to see how everything shakes out in the year to come. But one thing is clear, when it comes to sports stadiums, the power currently is with the team as opposed to the city.

The Politics Behind the Construction of Sports Stadiums

Each and every year, all of the major sports leagues in the US – the NFL, the MLB, the NBA, and the NHL (amongst others) – bring in hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue, and they’re only growing bigger and bigger as time goes on.

Each of these major sports have at least 20 teams, with each of them requiring their own stadium. These stadiums almost always seat between 50,000 and 70,000 people or more, and some of the bigger metro areas in the US have multiple stadiums within walking distance of one another.

But that’s not necessarily the problem.

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I think you’d find that the overwhelming majority of Americans out there today have absolutely no problem with getting the chance to go and watch their favorite athletes play in a city nearby – it’s that they usually almost always have to end up footing the bill to build newer and bigger stadiums while these multi-billionaire owners never have to take accountability for the teams that they own.

Major sports are big business in the US

 

For example, just look to what’s happening in Wisconsin right now.

The Milwaukee Bucks (of the NBA) are looking to build a brand-new stadium. The governor, Scott Walker, has already signed a bill into law to commit the state government to spend more than $250 million on a new basketball arena – more than half of the projected $400 million that the overall construction is anticipated to take.

The people behind the new stadium bill argued that it was going to bring a tremendous amount of business into the area to help support a downtown region that wasn’t exactly doing as well as it used to in the past.

At the same time, this plan hasn’t gone exactly unopposed.

A coalition of religious and community groups have banded together to fight the new arena proposal, and even went so far as calling for a referendum on the bond issue that was going to be used to finance the project in the first place.

They met a tremendous amount of resistance, and so far it looks like the new stadium is being fast tracked to completion.

The truth behind the cost of sports stadiums being built in America

 

The reality behind the construction of these new stadiums is that people are going to do whatever they have to in order to keep their team in their local area, even if it means using money from the future that probably isn’t going to exist to finance hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of construction – knowing that there are probably going to be on the hook to do the exact same thing again in another 20 years or so.

Even in the face of investors and economists telling these local governments and state governments that these kinds of deals are almost always a terrible idea, governments continue to move forward with the plan because they know the money is “invisible”.

The stadiums are usually financed through local municipal bonds that are borrowed today against public tax money created tomorrow, understanding that most of these taxes will never come to bear because of future policies that nullify them completely.

It’s an interesting proposal, and it’s one that really doesn’t make sense when you start to dig deeper into where the money is really coming from.

Here’s why so many mayors love to have new stadiums brought in or built

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There are a bunch of different reasons as to why so many mayors of big cities and Governors of sports crazed states keep pushing for these kinds of deals – and it has everything to do with keeping the public happy.

Just look at what happened in Seattle not that long ago.

The Supersonics were looking to get public money to help them build a new stadium or were threatening to move the team from Seattle to Oklahoma City. The public balked at spending that kind of money, the local government refused to grant the bonds, and the city had to sit by and watch as their beloved basketball team left for greener pastures.

All of this happened while the team became a perennial championship contender, and now the people of Seattle are doing everything they can to try and get a team back.

Oh, and those politicians that decided not to go with public money for the new stadium?

They’ve been gone for a long time now, while the Oklahoma City Thunder keep winning games.