Calif. bill would ban violent fans from games

This May 16, 2011 file photo shows San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow being transported to San Francisco General Hospital from Los Angeles, where he's been in critical condition at Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center.
AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File

(CBS/AP) Is it possible to deny unruly fans a ticket to a football or baseball game? At least one lawmaker in California thinks so.

A bill introduced in the state Assembly could force violent sports fans to watch their favorite teams from the couch.

AB2464 by Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gatto of Los Angeles would create a "ban list" barring unruly fans from attending professional sports games anywhere in the state. Once fans are on the list, they would be banned from attending any professional sporting event in California for up to five years.

Fans caught violating the ban could be fined up to $10,000 and put in jail for up to a year.

The Sacramento Bee reports that the ban would apply only to those convicted of felonies, such as assault.

Recent incidents of stadium violence in California have made national headlines. Last March, San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow nearly died after being brutally beaten in the parking lot outside Dodger Stadium. In August, two men were shot and wounded following a San Francisco 49ers-Oakland Raiders preseason game. A third victim was also hospitalized after he was knocked unconscious in a stadium bathroom during the game.

"Violence is something that has made a lot of parents be a little afraid to take their kids to the ball games, so I think we need to step in and do something," Gatto told the newspaper.

However, the Bee reports that Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries said the bill was too arbitrary by banning violent felons who commit their crime at a stadium but not those who commit their crime elsewhere.

"I don't feel that we, with a straight face, can say that one violent felon is OK but another is not," Jeffries said.

The newspaper reports that no pro league or team has weighed in on the bill yet.


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