Sports Arena Injuries — Sam Klarer

Going to sporting events is usually a fun experience: watching good teams play, hanging out with friends, and spending a night on the town.  One doesn’t often think about ways they can get hurt while at the game.

Believe it or not, it happens more than we would like to think.  There are times when the safety of patrons is risked at sporting events.  Some are as recent as last month, and can be pretty scary.

There are even reports of very obscure items injuring people, such as vending machines, or, in this case, a “large, heavy coin machine.”  ESPN anchor Lindsay Cohn was at the Brewster Ice Arena for a simple promotional appearance when a coin machine toppled and landed on top of her.  The injury required 25 stitches.  Cohn is now suing the ice arena for an undisclosed amount of money and “severe and disabling injuries,” according to newsfine.com.

Although that is pretty obscure, there are other cases involving something that most of us use to traverse floors: escalators. Aboutlawsuits.com wrote an article three years ago about an NHL arena in St. Louis in which an escalator malfunctioned.  The escalator was full of people just trying to get out of the stadium when the bottom stairs collapsed.  There were witness reports of a patron hitting the emergency stop button when they saw the stairs give way.  All in all, after the fire department freed all patrons from the mangled escalator, there were 13 injuries and five injured people were taken to the hospital. Accidents like this are becoming more common, which is not good for the sports industry.
The sports industry thrives on good competition and no injuries to players and, more importantly, to spectators.  Having to worry about issues like these makes a sport manager’s job much harder.  While they do everything they can in order to protect their patrons, they include a waiver on the back of tickets stating they are not responsible for injuries sustained.

On the other side of the issue, there are countless law offices that are dedicated to helping injured patrons sue an arena for the injuries caused at the facility.  According to The Beasley Firm, it is the owner’s responsibility to “make sure the premises are safely maintained.”  If this is done properly, the owners don’t have anything to worry about concerning patron safety — but, if it isn’t done properly, owners could pay a huge toll.
Attending sporting events are usually worry-free pastimes, and it is rare to think that one might get hurt while simply watching their team compete. However, according to freakonomics.com, it is statistically true that a vending machine is twice as deadly as a shark. The next time you are watching your team on the field or court, watch out for those deadly inanimate objects in the facility like the vending machines, escalators, and coin machines.

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