Stadium Coordinator Risk Management Assessment

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Stadium Coordinator Risk Management Assessment:

Stadium Coordinator Risk Management Assessment John Grosse John Hagelberger Robert Kozyra Christopher Ryndak

Madison Square Garden:

Madison Square Garden The areas that I analyzed are: facility, hazards, equipment, staff, players/participants and spectators. 21 million fans attended a hockey game in 2009 with nearly 750,000 of those fans attending a NY Rangers game at Madison Square Garden. My responsibility is to make sure everyone of those 750,000 fans enjoys the game safely through extensive mitigation.


Hockey Considered by the courts as a full-contact sport. Full-contact: Contact is simply not an unavoidable product of vigorous play, it is a fundamental element of the game itself. Generally, a person owes a duty to guard against injuries to others: Full-contact sport exception (Pfister v. Shusta)


Hockey I ce hockey also involves elements of risk such as injury and liability issues. Negligence is always present in a hockey game With negligence there is great opportunity for those harmed to take legal action . Sports are full of torts, resulting in major concerns for risk and sport managers at all levels of hockey (Pittman, Spengler, & Young, 2009)

Risk Management:

Risk Management Risk management is so important to avoiding negligence claims because risk management is an integrated strategy for both conducting safe programs and reducing the potential for loss arising from successful legal claims against an ice hockey program, its individual employees, and administrators.

Cases of Risk Management in Ice Hockey Arena’s:

Cases of Risk Management in Ice Hockey Arena’s Cases that demonstrate tort negligence are: Lemoine v. Springfield Hockey Ass ’ n Nemarnik v. The Los Angeles Kings Hockey Club, L.P. Hurst v. East Coast Hockey League, Inc. All of these cases focus specifically on the arena ’ s duty to provide safe facilities for participants and spectators involved in ice hockey.

Risk Management:

Risk Management The speed, hard ice, boards, sticks, pucks, player collisions, body checks and illegal on-ice activity contribute to the injuries to players and staff. Sciarrotta v. Global Spectrum is a case where a spectator was injured by a puck that left the playing surface during warm-ups. Because of this case arenas across the country have taken numerous steps to prevention spectator injury.

PowerPoint Presentation:

As the stadium coordinator my duty to spectators is to provide protective seating throughout the rink. Cases such as Gilchrist v. City of Troy and Rosa v. County of Nassau are two (2) well documented cases that proved the way to protective netting and plexiglass at least 3 feet above the boards at hockey arenas ’ across the country.

David Burkholder:

David Burkholder Head coach at Niagara University Hockey Team NU uses a lot of ushers to help fans find their seats safely and also to communicate with spectators and NU uses a lot of ushers to help fans find their seats safely and also to communicate with spectators. No escalators in the facility but arena maintenance makes sure the steps are dry and pose no slipping threats.


Facilities Development Stadium Coordinator responsibility is to ensure the arena's legal liability for a personal injury claim is generally predicated upon the facility's failure to meet minimum standards of safety, suitability, or sanitation of the arena. Main areas of concern: Maintain the condition of the ice surface Roof structure Steps or escalator Trash removal Sale of alcohol Security and supervision


Facilities Implementation Hire a risk manager A good risk management plan is only as effective as the communication within the organization Allow my managers to manage and allow the “ line ” employees to make valuable suggestions on how certain things are done.


Facilities Implementation It is impractical, if not impossible, to list or categorize the potential hazards and risks that may be found in a stadium or arena . Instruct or warn spectators about the safe use of the arena Arena safety usually depends upon instruction From the time a spectator arrives at the arena, he or she relies on instructions regarding traffic flow, where to park, which entrance to use, where to sit, where the concession and rest rooms are located, and even where to smoke


Facilities Implementation Day to day maintenance outside and inside the facility is completed according to established standards Maintenance and cleanliness of locker rooms, hallways, seats, entrances, spectator and other public areas regularly Prepare and implement a preventative maintenance program for the facility designed to avoid costly breakdowns Develop a regular inspection of the HVAC units which are critical to our facility operations Follow up complaints from the spectators


Facilities Management Being in the position where everyone manager reports to me, it is my responsibility to make it easier for my employees to perform their jobs My management model is based on facilitating, rather than ruling Signs are posted in and outside of the arena Regular inspection of the Plexiglas, boards, and netting would need to take place prior to every game with written documentation of each inspection Visual inspection of the stands prior to each game would also be instated to ensure no objects were already in place that could cause harm to any patrons.

Karas v. Strevell :

Karas v. Strevell Participant sued two opposing players for illegal check from behind, resulting in injury It must be evident that there was intent to harm/injured If every check could result in legal action, the game of hockey would cease to exist. Courts ruled players did not act out of the norm, resulting in dismissal of charges against the players.


Players/Participants DEVELOPMENT: Educate player: Workshops highlighting willful behavior. Signed waivers of completed workshop: competency of rules and regulations. IMPLEMTATION: Mandatory completion of workshop for any new players. Signed waivers for each member of away team citing proficient knowledge of rules/regulations. MANAGMENT: Stadium representative will work close to NHL to keep up with current rules/regulations. Statistical analysis of illegal hits and how to reduce them.



Employee Protection:

Employee Protection Having a competent, trained staff that understand emergency protocol will help diminish negligence and liability. Proper emergency plans involving spectator chaos shows foresight, reducing incidents and liability ( Eneman v. Richter). Injuries and health risks of players or fans can result in liability for staff ( Klienknecht v . Gettysburg College). Ensuring staff on the ice is properly trained will reduce negligence on behalf of staff ( Karas v . Strevell ).


Staff DEVELOPMENT: Contingency plans must be in place. Model plans after previous accounts as well as other relevant cases. All staff certified in First Aid/C.P.R./A.E.D. use. Employee workshops discussing possible issues IMPLEMENTATION: Readily accessible plans in each section. Available courses certifying staff in First Aid/C.P.R./A.E.D. use available within stadium. Monthly debriefing meetings, discussing issues or foreseeable issues. Practice each plan until proficient. MANAGEMENT: Stay current, adjust the plans as necessary. Make sure education and training is standardized and relevant.



Spectators’ Safety:

Spectators’ Safety Like foul balls in baseball, pucks and other projectiles may end up in the seating area. Although teams are not liable for injuries as a result of projectiles leaving the field of play, ensuring the safety of the fans in attendance is essential. If a fan is struck, they should be escorted to the nearest medical station for assistance.

Extreme Scenarios:

Extreme Scenarios In 2002, 13-year-old Brittanie Cecil died at a Columbus Blue Jackets game when she was struck by a puck. Screens were installed above the glass behind each net in every arena as a result of the tragedy.

Knowing the Risks:

Knowing the Risks Fans going to games should already be aware of the inherent risks involved. Make these risks known over the public address system before the game and between periods. Post warning signs near the entrances to at-risk seating areas. Communication is key.

Be Aware At All Times:

Be Aware At All Times Fans also must know that during play isn ’ t the only time they may be at risk. In Coen v. Sterling Mets , a beer vendor was injured during a T-shirt toss and filed suit. This could easily be a fan. Ensure all promotional events are announced beforehand so fans are aware of them.

Rowdy Fans:

Rowdy Fans Sometimes, fans may be their own worst enemy, especially at events where alcohol may be served. Have a written policy in place on how to deal with rowdy fans. Give victimized fans an outlet like a hotline number to voice their concerns. Act swiftly in dealing with rowdy fans.

In Case of Emergency:

In Case of Emergency Fans injured during a riot can find our management company liable as in Heenan v. Comcast Spectator . Staff should be well-trained in evacuation routes and emergency scenarios. Inform patrons of any potential problems or delays well in advance so there is no mass exodus out of the building.


Communication When it comes to managing spectators and ensuring their safety, keeping the lines of communication open is essential. Keep fans aware of what is going on. Constantly remind them of inherent risks and what to do if they are injured.




Equipment Non-mechanical equipment will be inspected by the maintenance manager and staff on a weekly basis . Example: Protective netting and glass inspected to make sure there are no holes or cracks that would compromise their intended use. Mechanical equipment : Must be inspected by operator prior to each use. Example: The ice resurfacing machine will be inspected using a check off sheet before each game.

ADA Requirements for sports facilities:

ADA Requirements for sports facilities Accessible parking Accessible entranceways Seating for hearing and visually impaired *Including listening devices Seating for mobility impaired without use of wheel chair Access to each area of the arena (bathroom, water fountain) * Elevator, escalator, ramp, escort


Conclusion Spectators who attend Madison Square Garden, assume the risks of the inherent dangers of the event, including pucks leaving the ice surface and causing bodily injury or even death, unless we severely deviate from our duty of care We must mitigate all the inherent risks that a player or spectator may incur while playing or attending the great game of hockey


Conclusion My entire staff needs to be aware of their legal responsibilities and these will be described in a detailed risk management plan. I will also hire key personnel in positions such as risk manager or a director of operations to assist in these duties. I must assure that all potential hazards have been alleviated and the equipment and facilities that the players use are of the highest quality possible


Conclusion I am responsible for conducting myself according to professional, ethical and moral standards I must promote the interests and protect the rights of my athletes and the spectators I will exercise every possible precaution to ensure that every fan or player that enters Madison Square Garden can safely view a hockey game and our players can practice, train and compete safely every day

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