UConn Football Attempts to Waive Liability for Pat-Down Procedures

uconn-country1Last Friday, the day before the UConn football team played the University of Rhode Island at Rentschler Field, a press release was issued advising of increased security, including pat-down procedures, in light of recent terrorist threats.  Fans entering the gates of Rentschler Field received a white card with additional details on the security measures:


UConn and Rentschler Field, as indicated by the last paragraph of the card it handed out to fans passing throught the stadium gates, attempts to create a waiver of any claims a ticket-holder may possess once that ticket-holder enters the stadium.  Such a waiver reflects an issue that has been discussed on Connecticut Sports Law – the rights of ticket holders with respect to sporting events.  Those rights, of course, are limited to say the least:

In legal terms, a ticket to a sporting event constitutes a revocable license.  A revocable license provides the license holder with a limited bundle of rights – such as the right to attend the game, sit in the assigned seat and use the stadium facilities made available to the public.  These rights can essentially be revoked by the team at any time and for any reason – especially if a fan violates the team’s prescribed rules of conduct.

When it comes to stadium pat-downs, however, fans have argued their right to privacy trumps a stadium’s need for security.  A lawsuit, brought under the California state constitution in connection with pat-downs at San Francisco 49ers games is currently pending; and a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan’s claim, made under the U.S. Constitution, was ultimately rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court

Although the boundaries of a fan’s right to privacy when entering a stadium may be uncertain, the basic legal rights of a ticket-holder are clear: the team holds all of the cards.  Just read the fine print.


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