Leave the six-pack. Take the foam finger.
Tailgaters and diehards, take heed: professional sporting in Southern California approved a fan code of conduct Monday that could impact pro sports fans of all stripes.
Every major Los Angeles and Orange County sports venue, including the Honda Center and Angels Stadium, has agreed to hold fans to a new code of conduct. It basically calls on sporting fans to be civil and law abiding. In other words, it calls for a culture change.
Following the tragic Bryan Stow beating at a Dodgers game last year, fans might be more willing to tone it down a notch. Still, it won’t be easy.
The code prohibits fans from smoking in all but designated areas. Notably, there is also a rule that prohibits intoxication. Throwing things is also a no-no. So is entering the playing field, which probably means no streaking across the outfield.
The Code of Conduct was crafted by a Los Angeles Sports Council task force that included representatives from venues that can hold 10,000 people or more, including Dodger Stadium, Staples Center, Santa Anita Racetrack and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
``More than 20 million spectators buy tickets to area sporting events each year, and it is important that they continue to feel safe when they attend these events,'' Sports Council Chairman Scott London said. ``This is an initiative to get the message out to people that certain behavior is prohibited regardless of which local venue you go to.''
Sports Council officials noted that most venues already have fan codes of conduct in place, but council President David Simon said the code announced today was intended to be a ``streamlined, fan-friendly version whose rules will apply to all professional and collegiate sporting events at our larger venues.''
``Breaking any of these common-sense rules may subject violators to ejection or arrest,'' he said.
The code is a list of 10 activities that fans must refrain from. The list is:
- profanity or other offensive language, either spoken or worn on clothing
- smoking, other than in designated areas
- intoxication or excessive alcohol consumption
- bringing prohibited items into the venue
- throwing of items or liquids
- entering the playing field or court at any time
- fighting or other threatening behavior
- failing to retain a ticket and/or present it to staff when requested
- reselling tickets at the venue
- violating state or local laws.
Safety at Southland sports venues became a pressing topic in March 2011 when San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow was beaten into a coma in a Dodger Stadium parking lot. Two men are awaiting trial in the attack.
In June 2011, the Sports Council convened a Fan Behavior Summit attended by nearly 100 executives from sports venues, universities and law enforcement agencies. One of the results of the summit was the suggestion that a universal
code of conduct by developed applicable to all sporting venues, according to the council.
Individual venues will be responsible for disseminating the code to its fans, but the Sports Council plans to produce a video with local celebrities to spread the word.
- City News contributed to this report.