Fan is in critical condition after falling from escalator at MetLife Stadium
Doug Farrar, Yahoo Sports, 10/21/12
According to New Jersey State Police, a 42-year old man fell over 20 feet from an escalator as he was leaving MetLife stadium following the New York Giants’ 27-23 win over the Washington Redskins.
Sgt. Adam Grossman told the Associated Press that the man fell over the side of an escalator and fell onto a metal stage below. It is unclear at this time what caused the fall. The man was airlifted to Hackensack University Medical Center and was in critical condition when he arrived.
Some fans tweeted from the scene that the man had fallen to his death, but reports later confirmed that he was alive when he was transported to the hospital.
This isn’t the first time an individual has fallen in an NFL stadium this year. On Aug. 31, 25-year-old Jonathan Kelly fell to his death at Houston’s Reliant Stadium during a preseason game between the Houston Texans and Minnesota Vikings.
To help with security, the NFL purchased 100 metal detecting wans for each NFL team last year. The cost to wand fans at a sellout according to a recent article in Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal is $25,000 per game compared with $10,000 per game for traditional pat-downs. Teams also needed to spring for some additional barricades and way finding signage. According to the article, several clubs claimed that scanning takes 12-16 seconds on average, which is 30% longer compared with pat downs.
The Oakland Raiders went a step further spending $340,000 for 110 permanent walk through magnetometers. To help speed up the entry process the club started a campaign called “early in and you may win,” which encourages people to show up an hour before kickoff and be eligible for prizes. Based on this campaign 90% of fans now come in before the kickoff.
By Andrew Chow, JD on October 3, 2012
The Alabama fan who simulated a sex act on a passed-out LSU fan in a viral video could spend the next two years in prison, the Associated Press reports.
Brian H. Downing, 33, of Smiths Station, Ala., exposed his genitals and pretended to sodomize an unconscious man in a Louisiana State University jersey at a Bourbon Street restaurant in January. The incident took place after Alabama beat LSU in the BCS national title game.
Downing initially faced charges including sexual battery, and could have been sentenced to 10 years in prison if convicted. But just as his trial was set to begin, Downing agreed to a plea bargain, the AP reports.
In Brian Downing’s plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop the sexual battery charge, which could have required the married father to register as a sex offender upon conviction.
Under Louisiana law, sexual battery is defined simply as an “intentional touching of the anus or genitals of the victim … using any body part of the offender.” Because the viral video showed Downing rubbing his genitals on the victim, it’s likely Downing would have been convicted.
But instead of taking his chances at trial, Downing pleaded guilty to two counts of obscenity, the “intentional exposure of the genitals … in any public place” that “appeals to prurient interest or is patently offensive.” This type of obscenity does not require registration as a sex offender in Louisiana, according to the Louisiana State Police.
Downing’s sentencing is scheduled for November, when he’s expected to face a two-year prison term. But Downing’s criminal defense lawyer told the AP his client would probably serve about nine months.
Though Downing’s plea deal avoided a criminal trial, he’s still facing a civil lawsuit brought by the unconscious LSU fan.
The unnamed fan seeks compensation for “mental anguish, humiliation, embarrassment, anxiety and depression.” He also wants Downing to reimburse him for tuition, as the viral incident forced him to withdraw from school, the victim’s lawsuit states.
By Andrew Lu on October 3, 2012
Last weekend, the University of Kentucky school president banned alcohol at certain tailgating spots ahead of the school’s big game against SEC rival South Carolina, reports The Associated Press.
With no real news of fights or especially unruly alcohol-related behavior before or after the game, the ban seemed to have worked.
Too bad the success could not be carried onto the field as the Wildcats blew a second half lead and lost to the heavily favored Gamecocks. Maybe a more raucous home crowd could have helped the team. It’s still yet to be determined if the alcohol ban at tailgates will be in effect for all future Kentucky games.
Tailgating has become almost as ingrained into football culture as the games themselves. Highlights of any pro or college game regularly feature fans grabbing a beer or roasting some type of sausage in the back of a pickup truck.
At Kentucky, students had taken to setting up tents that distributed “large quantities of alcohol” along a large grassy area by the parking lots, reports the AP. With DJs and live music, students reportedly were partying longer and drinking more.
With student fans (often underage) not knowing their own limits, tailgating has led to violence and other trouble. Leading up to the alcohol ban, there was an outbreak of fighting in the now-banned areas following Kentucky’s loss to Western Kentucky. And after the university’s basketball championship, celebration resulted in many small fires and gunfire.
As part of the ban, alcohol will only be prohibited in the non-reserved tailgate area of the parking lot, reports the AP. People caught serving or drinking alcohol there will be cited by police. To rain on the parade even more, the school president also banned the DJs and bands from performing. These musicians face school disciplinary action as opposed to any legal trouble.