Little-known fact: Los Angeles has its very own Sports Council, a self-described “outgrowth of the success of the 1984 Olympic Games.”
Although its eight-member executive cabinet and dozens of directors (such as UCLA's athletic director and Tim Leiweke, president of downtown developer AEG) spend most of their time figuring out how to drive more people to sports games and more money to teams/developers, the council is crossing over into law-enforcement territory with its first-ever…
… “Southern California Fan Code of Conduct,” unveiled at a high-profile press conference this morning.
According to the Los Angeles Times, it was attended by the likes of L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, and L.A. County Supervisors Don Knabe and Zev Yaroslavsky — so it appears our “sea of blue” is on board with the new regulations.
Here's the code in full, as posted this morning to the council's website.
The [Name of Team and/or Name of Facility and/or Los Angeles Sports Council] supports the area's outstanding collegiate and professional sports teams. In order to ensure a safe and celebratory environment, we ask that fans refrain from the following behavior at all events:
• Profanity or other offensive language, whether spoken or appearing on apparel
• 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
• Failure to retain ticket and/or present it to event staff if requested to do so
• Resale of tickets at the venue
• Violation of state or local laws
Failure to comply may subject you to ejection or arrest.
The biggest changes we can see, compared to, say, the current code of conduct at Dodger Stadium, is the restriction against offensive language on clothing — which could be a red flag for First Amendment fighters — as well as the “no throwing” bullet point. (Before, the stadium only prohibited throwing objects “onto the field.”)
“This will not replace any existing codes of conduct but is intended as a streamlined, fan-friendly version whose rules will apply to all professional and collegiate sporting events at our larger venues,” Sports Council President David Simon says in a press statement.
We've contacted the LAPD for more on how, exactly, cops will be enforcing rules that fall outside existing law, such as the offensive clothing bit.
Even though the council's new code appears to be in reaction to the brutal Bryan Stow beating at Dodger Stadium last year, Simon insists to KTLA that drafting began long before that — amid UCLA-USC violence at the Rose Bowl. Still, we can't help but assume that the highly publicized attack against Stow, and his excruciating recovery since, perhaps sped up the process a little.