Sports Facilities and the Law is a bimonthly newsletter devoted to sports venues and legal issues.
Sports Facilities and the Law is a new publication for news, case summaries, articles and strategies to understand legal concerns facing sports venues.
“Our goal is not just to inform but to help share solutions,” said the newsletter's creator, Gil Fried, chair of the University of New Haven’s sports management program, where he is a professor. “I’ve been involved in so many cases, both on the defense's side and the plaintiff's side, and I’ve seen facilities often do not have the appreciation for risk and how to respond to risk that they should have.”
The newsletter was co-created by Holt Hackney, who runs other venue-related newsletters, including Legal Issues in College Athletics and Sports Litigation Alert.
“Things change legally in the facility world on a regular basis,” Fried said. “The thought behind the SFL newsletter is to get operators to appreciate the changes on a legal landscape.”
Tort law, contract law, employment law, safety and antiterrorism are some of the topics that the publication touches on frequently.
It has a number of board members that it relies on to comment on current cases. Some write articles for the site as well. Board members include Paul Anderson, Herb Appenzeller, Denis C. Braham, Shane Beardsley, Helen Durkin, James Moss, John Sadler, Todd Seidler and Carla Varriale. “These people are all key players in the industry who can provide insight,” Fried said.
Fried used the example of protests over a police shooting that recently blocked the entrances to the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif., before Sacramento Kings games as an example of how the newsletter can be a helpful tool. “We shared that material and presented a good strategy for how to respond to a situation like that,” he said.
Other topics include drone issues, ADA-related concerns, compliance issues and trademark and copyright disputes. “We have six or seven full cases in each issue and guest editorials,” Fried said. “We hope people learn from the articles and react to them. It’s not possible to avoid all injuries, but we hope to reduce them incrementally.”
Board member Varriale, a partner in the law firm of Havkins Rosenfeld Ritzert & Varriale, is thrilled to be part of the newsletter. “I like the publication because it gives me a wide view of legal issues facing sports facilities,” she said. “They touch on venue security, liability issues, security, and I think it’s a valuable tool for anyone in the industry.”
Varriale especially likes that the Sports Facilities and the Law partners with experts and legal minds working in litigation for sports venues. “Hearing from experts helps inform my choices and gives me knowledge I would not have had,” she said. “Often they feature experts who have recently testified, who I can then call to testify.”
“They also deal with spectator issues, and many times they write about issues I would not see in a regular newspaper,” she said.
The newsletter is free and relies on advertising support. “Our focus is getting things out there, not money,” he said.
The newsletter has about 500 subscribers, and Fried is pleased with its growth. “We’re getting lots of feedback and people saying thanks for raising this concern or that issue and bringing it to my attention. If we can do that and educate people and make facilities safer and cut down on lawsuits and insurance, we’re fulfilling our mission.”
Sports Facilities and the Law is published six times a year, and the next issue will appear in May. To sign up, visit the newsletter's website, www.sportsfacilitieslaw.com