No New Stadium in San Diego … For Now

iStock_000040776972_Large

One of the less polarizing takeaways from this election cycle was the rejection of a publicly-funded stadium initiative by the residents of San Diego. On Election Day, voters defeated the proposed six percent hotel room tax increase that would have aided in the funding of the venue. For now, the Chargers are focusing on football, and any decision about relocating elsewhere will be made after the NFL season concludes. The club wanted to build a new stadium in the city of San Diego — a change from its current home of Qualcomm Stadium in nearby Serra Mesa — with a new 65,000 seat stadium and convention center. Talk of the move filled airwaves running up to Election Day, and was given more weight by a proposed Los Angeles joint-stadium between the ...
Continue Reading...


The Road for MLS Expansion in St. Louis Takes a Wild Turn

iStock_000016648993_Large On November 17, 2016, an ownership group known as SC STL revealed an official plan to build a 20,000 seat stadium to lure an expansion MLS franchise to St. Louis. The proposed $200 million stadium would be built west of Union Station and have the capability to expand to 28,000 seats if demand dictated. Per SC STL’s plan, private investors would pay at least 60 percent of the stadium costs. The remaining 40 percent, or around $80 million, would be funded with public money subject to a public vote. The city would own the facility. The concept of using public funds for sports arenas has been an area of hot debate around the country — especially in St. Louis in the aftermath of the departure of the Rams from the ...
Continue Reading...

Arena Football League Insurer Gets the First Down in Concussion Lawsuit

Although it may seem like the NFL is always involved in concussion litigation, another football organization — Arena Football League — is facing accusations over its own concussion procedures. In June 2015, Lorenzo Breland, who played for the Tulsa Talons and the New Orleans Voodoo during his time with the league, sued the AFL after suffering from two concussions. Breland suffered his first blow to the head in 2011. Then in 2014, he suffered a second concussion that ended his football career. Breland sued Arena for breaching its collective bargaining agreement by refusing to pay the medical expenses associated with his concussions. He also asserts claims for negligence and compensation for the long-term effects he suffers as a result of the concussions. Breland later added Arena’s insurers — Federal Insurance ...
Continue Reading...

Plaintiffs Strike Out in Suit Seeking to Extend MLB Stadium Safety Netting

Plaintiffs’ hopes of extending the foul ball safety net further down the first- and third-base lines at all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums were dashed recently when a California U.S. District Court dismissed the lawsuit for lack of standing. The plaintiffs’, Oakland Athletics fan Gail Payne and Los Angeles Dodgers fan Stephanie Smith, claim that the extension of the safety net was required to protect fans from injuries caused by foul balls and broken bats, but U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers found the plaintiffs failed to show a sufficient likelihood that they would be injured at future games and therefore did not have adequate standing for the proposed class-action lawsuit. While Judge Rogers agreed with the plaintiffs’ assertion that hard-throwing pitchers, wooden bats that splinter easily, and distractions like ...
Continue Reading...

Native American Groups File Brief in Support of Trademark Office’s Ban on Disparaging Trademarks

On November 16, 2016, Native American organizations, including the National Congress of American Indians, filed a brief of amici curiae in support of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO) ban on offensive and disparaging trademarks. The statute at issue before the Supreme Court is Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1052(a), which provides that no trademark will be refused registration because of content unless, inter alia, the trademark “[c]onsists of . . .matter[s] which may disparage . . . persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt or disrepute.” The brief was filed following the Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari in September to Lee v. Tam, a case concerning an Asian-American dance-rock band called the Slants, to decide whether the ...
Continue Reading...

No Property Tax on Government-Owned Stadiums in New Jersey

iStock_000054736346 As of November 21, 2016, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has amended New Jersey tax law to clarify that government-owned stadiums and arenas are exempt from property taxation. The signing of this bill quells uncertainty following a decision by a New Jersey tax court which denied a non-profit hospital its tax benefits last year. The court’s decision was focused in part on the hospital’s mix of non-profit and for-profit activity. Up until this point, it was not clear whether the decision would bring forth similar results for government owned stadium’s which include for-profit business like concession stands and gift shops. Based on this amendment to New Jersey tax law, government-owned stadiums and arenas are now assured to maintain their tax-exempt status, even if they enter into private-public arrangements with for-profit ...
Continue Reading...

All-American High School Lacrosse Player Brings Lawsuit Against Performance Sports Group LTD for Head Injuries

lawsuit Melinda Avery, an all-American High School lacrosse player, filed a lawsuit against Performance Sports Group LTD, after sustaining head injuries as a result of a defectively designed lacrosse helmet. Avery, the star goalie of her high school lacrosse team, was struck in the head by a lacrosse ball in April, 2014, while wearing a “Cascade Model R helmet.” In her complaint, Avery argues that the helmet failed to meet the minimum safety guidelines imposed by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment when these helmets were placed in the stream of commerce. Even though Performance Sports say the helmets were in compliance with the standards set by NOCSAE, the complaint states that the organization voided its safety certification in November 2014, when an independent investigation revealed safety flaws ...
Continue Reading...

Harvard Men’s Soccer Gets the ‘Red Card;’ Season Cancelled in Wake of Sexual Ratings of Female Recruits

Indoor Soccer Harvard University suspended the remainder of the men’s soccer team’s season after it was revealed that members of the team, both past and present, compiled a yearly ‘scouting report’ of the women’s soccer team. The document, originally reported by The Crimson, Harvard University’s student-run newspaper, described the sexual attractiveness of the female soccer recruits. While the document was originally from 2012, the tradition of producing similar “reports” appears to be an annual occurrence through this season. In this particular document, the author ranked the incoming female soccer recruits numerically and added extensive commentary on their assessment of each student-athlete. Further, the document opined about sexual descriptions of the women, noting specific sexual positions that purported to correspond with the individual student-athlete’s position as a soccer player. University officials made the ...
Continue Reading...

Lead Block: NFL Teams Rally to Pre-empt Jerry Jones and Jim Irsay Deposition Testimony

iStock_000059239362_Full-150x150 All 23 National Football League (NFL) teams are rallying behind two of their most notorious owners: Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, and Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts. In a letter written to U.S. District Judge William Alsup, the teams asked that Jones and Irsay be excused from giving deposition testimony in a case involving alleged wide-scale painkiller abuse. Specifically, the teams want a protective order imposed that would “at least [defer]” the two owners from giving deposition testimony. The teams are relying on a legal maxim known as the “apex” doctrine to attempt to prevent Jones and Irsay from participating in deposition testimony. To invoke the doctrine, attorneys for the teams will have to meet two elements. First, counsel must show that either Jones or Irsay ...
Continue Reading...

Blind Hockey Player Fighting to Keep Major Judgment Intact

iStock_000011935095_Medium-e1431974978755-150x100 A blind minor league hockey player—after being poked in the eye with a hockey stick—is now fighting to prevent a federal judge from reopening his case. Kyler Moje was injured in February 2012 while playing for the Danville Dashers, when the stick of another player got under his visor and struck his eye, blinding him. Moje never regained the ability to see and instituted the action against the Federal Hockey League LLC (FHL). After failing to respond to Moje’s lawsuit, a federal court in Illinois entered a default judgment of $800,000 against the league. For months, the insurance company has been trying to get out of the lawsuit. In this latest attempt, the insurer argues that the federal court misinterpreted the Illinois Supreme Court case, Skaperdas v. Country Casualty Insurance, upon ...
Continue Reading...