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Thursday, December 05, 2013
Fan warning cards

Deadspin reports, with photo.

Assuming this is real, it raises every issue I have ever written about with respect to fan expression. Any "NBA Fan Code of Conduct" must comport with the First Amendment, at least at publicly funded or publicly owned arenas. Since little fan speech actually runs afoul of any known First Amendment categories, such an eviction would not satisfy constitutional scrutiny.


Is that true even where the arena has been leased to a private organization (i.e., an NBA team)? Must the Cavs allow protestors to picket in the concourses (providing that they don't block access to fire exits)? Must they permit the handing out of handbills and flyers?

I am aware of cases regarding free speech rights on the pavilions outside of publicly-owned sports stadiums (finding such rights). I am not aware of such rights inside, during an event for which the arena was leased by a private business.

Blogger shermshermy -- 12/06/2013 9:12 AM  

I would say it *should be* (there is little or no case law) most true with a public arena leased to a private organization, where the private organization is fully responsible for managing events there.

They probably would be able to get around a handbilling prohibition by arguing about crowd flow and trash, which has worked to uphold prohibitions in smaller spaces.

Blogger Howard Wasserman -- 12/07/2013 8:17 AM  

No state action. I believe there are several older cases involving stadiums and teams' signage restrictions.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 12/07/2013 10:46 AM  

Actually, courts have found state action where the stadium is publicly owned. The unknown is what we do about publicly funded but privately owned (or jointly owned) stadiums.

Blogger Howard Wasserman -- 12/08/2013 7:24 PM  

As a fan I totally understand the warning and the consequences. It is interesting though that it doesn't go both ways.

Anonymous Marwan -- 12/08/2013 8:06 PM  

As a fan I totally understand the warning and the consequences of not listening to it. However, I think it is interesting that it does not go both way.

Anonymous Marwan -- 12/08/2013 8:07 PM  

Totally Appreciate this Step..!! Any Person sitting in the audience have no rights to abuse other players.

Andrew Felix

Anonymous Andrew Felix -- 12/13/2013 12:13 AM  

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