Note to Jets Fans: Behave or You Are Going to School
By Alan Schechter
We have reported on this before, but after reading a more detailed article on the subject, I wanted to share more details with you.
On average, 25 fans get thrown out of Jets or Giants home games. Well, if it happens to you, you must pass a four hour course in “fan conduct awareness”. The course was developed by a psychotherapist, and in 2010, MetLife Stadium was the first NFL stadium to enact the program. Several other teams have begun using it since.
The first step is writing a letter of apology to the head of stadium security, Daniel DeLorenzi in MetLife’s case. After submitting the letter, the fan must complete the online course and test, achieving a 70% or better on the final test in the course, consisting of true/false questions. The course is available at fanconductclass.com, and was created by an anger management specialist.
The cost of the class/test is $75, $55 going to the class creator, and the remaining $20 towards “Mothers Against Drunk Driving”, and the Hero Campaign for Designated Drivers.
About one quarter of ejected fans to not take, or complete the class. These fans are put on a list that includes their name, seat number and photograph. Security will scan the stands, and if these fans are located, they will be arrested for trespassing.
How would you do? Turn the page for some example questions.
1. Every fan has a right to like any team they wish. Using abusive language toward fans that support teams you don’t like will not be tolerated. (TRUE)
2. Behaving badly toward other fans, such as fighting, swearing or threatening them, is OK as long as they deserve it. (FALSE)
3. According to MetLife Stadium’s alcohol policies, four drinks is the maximum a person may purchase at a time. (FALSE-TWO DRINKS)
Is it worth it to have to do this?
Every team that has enacted the policy has seen success. Not a single fan that went through it and completed, has been a repeat offender.
It’s an important program, as Ray DiNunzio, director of Strategic Security Programs for the league notes, most fans take the code of conduct very seriously:
We pay very close attention to fan behavior and what our fans tell us regarding their stadium gameday experience,” DiNunzio said. “We learned that fans take the code of conduct seriously. [A recent survey found] that among fans aware of the Fan Code of Conduct, an average of 89 percent say they take it very seriously or somewhat seriously. An average of 59 percent of fans say that fan behavior at games has a great impact on their decision to buy future tickets for games,” he added. “Bad behavior includes abusive foul language and taunting. It impacts whether or not many fans will go to a game-or stay at home and watch it on TV.”
If fans stop buying tickets, it hurts revenue, so obviously, it is imperative to use a program like this. DiNunzio adds that it is not only about revenue to the teams, it’s about every fan having a right to enjoy the gameday experience.
Every fan has the right to enjoy the game. But, when you cross the line and fight with fans, taunt, cuss…etc., my stomach turns. When that story came out about our fans and Gate D I think it was, made me sick. People should be able to enjoy the game, no matter what team they root for.
No matter whether they drink or not. People shouldn’t be nervous about bringing their children to games, because they don’t want their kids exposed to bad behavior.
Have a good time, but be responsible about it. Is it really worth getting into a fight while watching a football game? Sports are fun, let’s keep it at that.
Even if you don’t agree, is it worth having to take a class to get back in the stadium? Wouldn’t it be better to just behave in the first place, and not have to do all of the extra work?
I would say so.