SBJ/August 27-September 2, 2012/Facilities

Major Southern California sports facilities team up to create new fan code of behavior

A group of 11 sports facilities in Southern California has formed a new fan code of conduct to reinforce the message of appropriate behavior in their buildings.

The program started when Rose Bowl officials wanted ideas to improve safety.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
The Southern California Fan Code of Conduct, organized under the auspices of the Los Angeles Sports Council, is a list of 10 bullet points tied to improving the fan experience at Dodger Stadium, Rose Bowl Stadium, Staples Center and eight other facilities.

The code supplements the programs that each of the participating facilities already has in place for addressing fan behavior and enforcing those policies, said David Simon, president of the council, a group supporting economic development through sports.

The biggest news to come out of this initiative is that for the first time a vast majority of teams and facilities covering a region of 20 million residents sat down together to share best practices, Simon said.

Southern California
Fan Code of Conduct

Sports fans at major league and college venues in Los Angeles and Orange County are being asked to refrain from:

1. Profanity or other offensive language, whether spoken or appearing on apparel.
2. Smoking (except in designated smoking areas).
3. Intoxication or excessive alcohol consumption.
4. Bringing prohibited items into the venue.
5. Throwing of items or liquids.
6. Entering the playing field or court at any time.
7. Fighting or other threatening behavior.
8. Failure to retain ticket and/or present it to event staff if requested to do so.
9. Resale of tickets at the venue.
10. Violation of state or local laws.

Participating venues

Rose Bowl Stadium
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Dodger Stadium
Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Auto Club Speedway
Santa Anita Park
Staples Center
Honda Center
Galen Center (USC)
Pauley Pavilion (UCLA)
Home Depot Center
“We got all the venues singing from the same hymn books, which is a first for our area,” he said.

In that sense, the coalition gives added weight to the code, said Lee Zeidman, general manager and senior vice president of Staples Center.

Rose Bowl general manager Darryl Dunn said, “At times, we are competitors and rivals, but in this instance, everybody is working together to make the fan experience as enjoyable as possible.”

The program’s roots date to September 2010, six months before the beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow in a Dodger Stadium parking lot. At that time, Rose Bowl officials reached out to sports consultant Jim Steeg, a former NFL executive, to take a close look at what could be done to provide a safer environment for fans attending games in Pasadena. In December, a few months later, two people were stabbed during a brawl in a Rose Bowl parking lot before the USC-UCLA night game.

The Stow incident in March 2011 added “fuel to the fire” for developing a uniform code that could be applied across the board at sports facilities, Steeg said, including Santa Anita Park and Auto Club Speedway.

Two months later, in June 2011, a group of teams and venues, including AEG, owner and operator of Staples Center and Home Depot Center, met for the inaugural Fan Behavior Summit, which drew about 100 people, Simon said.

A task force was formed after the summit with a working group of about 20 members. Together, they developed the new fan code.

The group has not determined how the code will be spelled out to fans at sports events in Southern California. Most likely, there will be signs displayed at arenas and stadiums, with audio and video messages played over loudspeakers and scoreboards, Simon said. How arenas, stadiums and tracks enforce the code and whether they increase security forces is up to the individual buildings, Simon said. To this point, the only real costs involved have been a few thousand dollars tied to the cost of attending last year’s summit, he said.

The group is set to publicly announce the fan code today.


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