Kingsport Times News Thursday, October 30, 2014
Sports

Calif. bill would ban violent fans from pro sports

March 13th, 2012 5:32 pm by Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Violent sports fans could soon be watching their favorite teams from the couch.


A bill introduced in the state Assembly would create the nation’s first “ban list,” barring unruly fans from attending professional sports games.


The proposal would apply to fans convicted of felonies, such as assault, at arenas, and those placed on the list would be banned from attending any professional sporting event in California for up to five years.


Those convicted of committing a second felony at a game could be banned for up to 10 years.


Fans caught violating the ban would be guilty of a misdemeanor and could be fined up to $10,000 and put in jail for up to a year.


The Sacramento Bee reports (http://bit.ly/zGVrm4) that less serious crimes, such as abusive heckling and throwing beer, would not fall under the bill’s domain.


Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, says his bill is intended to prevent violence such as last year’s near-fatal beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow outside Dodger Stadium.


The bill would also have applied to the fight at Candlestick Park during a San Francisco 49ers-Oakland Raiders game last year, in which two men were shot outside the stadium and one rendered unconscious in a restroom.


The bill would not apply to college or minor league teams.


Gatto’s bill would authorize the attorney general’s office to distribute the names and photos of people on the ban list, and post this information online. Italy and England have adopted similar laws.


Professional sports teams would have to pay $10,000 to create the list and set up a reward fund for crime witnesses. Sports team and arena owners have not yet weighed in on the bill.


Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries, R-Lake Elsinore, told the Bee it did not make sense to ban felons who commit their crimes at sports stadiums, but not fans who commit felonies elsewhere.

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