a baseball is an inherent risk fans assume at games, being hit with a hotdog isn’t.
“Aha! There was no way for the fan to have anticipated a flying hot dog,” says Landau!
With the case now in the hands of the Missouri Supreme Court, the issue of the “baseball rule” is under close scrutiny. The outcome of this case is being watched by teams all across the country.
What is the “Baseball Rule?”
The baseball rule is a legal standard that protects teams from being sued over fan injuries caused by events on the field, court, or rink. In plain English, it means that a fan accepts the risks that are inherent with watching a live sporting event — and that the fan may not sue the team if injured by any action or event that is considered an inherent part of the game.
Are the Actions of a Team Mascot Inherent to the Game?
Specifically in this case, is being hit by a hot dog an inherent risk of watching a baseball game?
Industry experts have noted that as ticket prices for attendance at sporting events have risen, teams feel they must make watching a game more of a total experience — hence you have mascots doing all they can to engage the crowd. Some would argue that a dancing, cheering, racing, and object-throwing mascot is now part of the overall experience.
The decision of the Missouri Supreme Court will establish a precedent for future cases of this nature. We will be watching closely.