Safety & Security: Spectator Safety
Texas Rangers' Railing Renovation May Not Impact Codes, Other Teams
by Paul Steinbach August 2011
One can only imagine the emotional swing of a six-year-old — from the euphoria of tracking the arc of a baseball tossed in his direction by his favorite big-league player to the shock of looking down upon his bloodied father, who had just fallen 20 feet in an attempt to secure the souvenir. The image of the boy standing with one bare hand holding the railing that had failed to contain his dad, the other wearing the baseball glove purchased earlier that day, is as heartbreaking as any you're ever likely to see on a sports page.
Another Upper Deck Accident Underscores Safety Debate
by Paul Steinbach July 2011
The death last week of Shannon Stone, a Texas firefighter who fell 20 feet in pursuit of a souvenir baseball, brought solemn urgency to the other sports venues. The near tragedy that took place last night in Phoenix during the MLB All Star Game Home Run Derby adds a new facet to the debate - countertops that often abut railings in a stadium's specialty seating and socializing areas.
School, Park Districts Explore Partnership to Save Sports
by Michael Popke February 2011
When Rockford (Ill.) Public Schools announced two weeks into 2011 that it was exploring a partnership that would transfer operation of interscholastic sports to the Rockford Park District, school officials cited several benefits.
Notre Dame's Fatal Scissor Lift Accident Shakes Collegiate Sports Video Community
by Paul Steinbach November 2010
By all accounts, Declan Sullivan loved his job as a student videographer for the University of Notre Dame football program. But he also recognized the risks. Before going to work Oct. 27, a day that saw extreme high winds whip through South Bend, Ind., the 20-year-old tweeted, "I guess I've lived long enough." Once aloft on a 50-foot scissor lift, with wind gusts exceeding 50 miles per hour, genuine panic ensued. "This is terrifying," Sullivan typed.
Tailgating Causes Trouble at Reliant Park
by Andrew Cohen October 2010
The game-day tradition of tailgating by fans without tickets is a problem for the Houston Texans.
Is Peanut-Free Seating Necessary in Open-Air Venues?
by Paul Steinbach August 2010
The Chicago Cubs are the latest Major League Baseball team to recognize the risk that a trip to the ballpark can pose to fans who suffer from peanut allergies. For Monday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cubs are converting the Bud Light Batter's Eye suite at Wrigley Field into a peanut-free gallery.
Mets Fan Sues Over Broken Bat to the Face
by Michael Popke August 2010
James Falzon is suing the New York Mets (and at least two individual players), Major League Baseball and the maker of Rawlings-brand bats for severe facial injuries he suffered from a flying piece of broken bat three years ago.
One on One: Baseball Fan Hollye Minter Recalls Fall from Stands
by Paul Steinbach July 2010
Ever wonder what it would be like to fall out of an upper deck? Hollye Minter would tell you, if only she could remember. Everything between losing contact with a 30-inch-tall railing on the Home Run Porch at The Ballpark in Arlington and landing on the Care Flight helipad at Parkland Hospital in Dallas is a blank. That was April 1, 1994, opening day of the Texas Rangers' new stadium, and Minter — who, on her 26th birthday, suffered a fractured vertebrae, two broken ribs, a broken shoulder and six broken teeth - was reminded of at least some aspects of her ordeal last month, when a man fell 30 feet out of the first row of the Ballpark's club level. Paul Steinbach spoke to Minter on July 7, the day after Tyler Morris became the second member of an unenviable Rangers fan club.
Ballpark Fall Turns Fatal at Miller Park
by Paul Steinbach May 2010
Having reported on fatal falls involving ballpark upper decks, I was particularly shocked to read minutes ago of a death involving a fan who fell 14 feet from a lower-level railing at Miller Park in Milwaukee.
The Longer Arm of the Law
by Paul Steinbach May 2010
An unarmed teenager bolted into the outfield at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia last night. Fans hooted as he managed briefly to outrun a lone police officer and several uniformed event security personnel. But ultimately the long arm of the law was made longer by a Taser - its incapacitating shockwaves dropping the trespasser to the turf, where he lay motionless for a full 30 seconds. By then, many among the Philly faithful had begun booing.
Tasers have been used with increasing frequency to control crowds at professional and college sports venues on down to high school athletic events. Today, Philadelphia police defended the deployment of a Taser in apprehending the teen, even though he was outnumbered and his arrest appeared imminent.
Put yourself in a seat at Citizens Bank Park on Monday night. Are you cheering or jeering the use of a Taser in this instance?
UPDATE: Fans running onto the field in Philadelphia are getting older, if not wiser, but one wonders if Citizens Bank Park security personnel have learned something this week.
A 34-year-old Phillies fan gained access to the field Tuesday, one night after a 17-year-old was tasered to the outfield turf by a police officer. The latest trespasser was apprehended without use of a Taser.