Following a string of violence at some of California’s professional sporting venues, legislation to improve stadium safety is close to taking effect.
The Improving Personal Safety at Stadiums Act, authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), passed in the Senate Monday by a 36-0 vote and is now being looked over for consideration by Gov. Jerry Brown.
If approved, the act will require that arenas and stadiums clearly post numbers of stadium security that fans can call or text message should a problem arise.
Signs will have to be visible from the stands and in parking lots.
The legislation, which was first proposed on Feb. 24, does not apply to high school or college stadiums.
In the original proposal, a "banned persons list" would have been created to monitor those excluded or ejected from sporting venues because of past violent behavior. That list would have been maintained by a Stadium Violence Reward Fund, into which teams would pay $10,000 annually until the fund reached $180,000.
However, concerns over privacy and opposition from civil liberties groups, such as the ACLU, prevented this from being included.
The beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium last season and an incident in which two people were shot following a San Francisco 49ers-Oakland Raiders game prompted Gatto to create this bill.
"Many parents have told me that they are afraid to take their kids to a ballgame," Gatto said in a statement. "This law will allow fans to report incidents to stadium security before they escalate out of control."
Brown is expected to make his decision on the bill in the coming weeks.