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Cal Lawmaker Wants 'Violent Fan Ban'

A California legislator wants violent fans banned from sporting events.

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    Joe Nedney #6 of the San Francisco 49ers kicks the winning field goal in overtime against the St. Louis Rams at Candlestick Park on November 14, 2010

    A California legislator has proposed a measure to create a "Ban List" that would prohibit violent fans from attending professional sporting events within the state.

    Cal Assemblyman Mike Gotto, D-Los Angeles, has proposed a measure that would keep anyone busted for violent activity at a sporting event from purchasing tickets and, if they did, subject them to a misdemeanor crime, according to Jim Sander of the San Jose Mercury-News.

    "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," said Gatto.

    This is, more or less, a direct response to the Bryan Stow incident from 2011, where Stow, a Giants fan, was attacked at the Opening Day game between the Dodgers and the Giants in Los Angeles.

    Fighting in the Stands

    [BAY] Fighting in the Stands
    Tony Kovaleski and The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit found hundreds of examples of fan violence that didn't make the headlines. This story was published Feb. 25, 2012 at 12:06 a.m. (Published Thursday, Apr 26, 2012)

    Under Gatto's bill, each professional sports team in the state of California would supply $10,000 in funding to generate the ban list and maintain its upkeep, as well as provide rewards for people who assisted in busting criminals.

    Crimes like throwing beer and verbally assaulting another fan wouldn't be covered under the list, which makes it a bit questionable as to whether or not it really approaches the idea of protecting fans before violence.

    Gatto believes taking away the ability of violent fans to attend professional sporting events would serve as a deterrent itself.

    "Everybody who is at these ballparks are sports fans," Gatto said. "So to take away what they love, to say, 'You can't attend a game anymore,' that's a real penalty to them."

    Whether or not Gatto's bill can get the necessary traction to become implemented is unknown. And it's probably a stretch to believe this will end all crime in stadiums.

    However, the fact that the powers-that-be are concerned with finding a way to stop stadium violence is a good thing, even if the methodology currently under proposal isn't the most efficient manner of doing so.

    Below is a YouTube clip from Candlestick Park of violence in the stands during a pre-season game last summer between the 49ers and the Raiders.