- Grove City, Pennsylvania


September 19, 2012

EXTRA INNINGS: Buying a ticket is like signing a contract nobody reads

OPINION — BUYING A TICKET to a professional baseball game may seem like a rather mundane endeavor. But have you ever read the fine print on the back of the ticket?

Of course not.

By the time you would squint through the 50 lines of print, you’d have missed the seventh inning stretch.

But by purchasing a ticket, you agree to details that you probably break while agreeing to forfeit your ticket for such sins. Under the “IMPORTANT: ” section, you affirm that you understand that the ticket “constitutes a revocable license” to enter the ballpark and watch the game. You also agree not to “transmit or aid in transmitting any description, account, picture or reproduction of the baseball game (including pre- and post-game activities). Take a picture of your school’s band playing the national anthem? Pose for a photo with the Pirate Parrot? Try to capture post-game fireworks? Snap a picture of your favorite player during an at-bat or use your phone to video an on-field argument? Photograph the name of your group on the scoreboard or PNC Park for your phone’s wallpaper?

So why is an employee shown on the scoreboard, urging fans to take cell phone photos and send them so they might appear on the video board in the sixth inning.

Oh, the list could go on and on.

The penalty for such infractions: “Breach of the foregoing will automatically terminate this contract,” the ticket states. Translation: You get tossed out of the park.

Buying a ticket also means granting permission to the “Participating Clubs and their agents to utilize the holder’s image or likeness incidental to any live or recorded video display or other transmission or reproduction in whole or in part of the event to which this admits him.” In other words, you get no royalties if you’re in the background of a shot of Andrew McCutchen in the batter’s box.

It’s also a violation if you donate your purchased ticket for a charity raffle, if you give it to a customer in exchange for buying a product or service, if you use it for a promotion such as a contest or sweepstakes, or if you use it “for other trade purposes without the express written consent of the Pittsburgh Pirates.”

Or maybe the seat has been double sold, or they just don’t want you there for whatever reason; you lose. And by buying ticket you agree to leave if they give you your money back. “The license granted by this ticket may also be terminated by tendering to the holder the purchase price of this ticket” is the way they put it on the back of the ticket.

A cynic might point out that that’s a good thing considering how the Pirates have been playing lately.

In addition, under the “WARNING:” paragraph comes a caveat for those who may have bought their ticket from an on-line reselling site, a scalper, or any source other than the Pittsburgh Pirates or that those tickets may have been lost or stolen tickets which “in all cases will not be honored and admission will be denied.”

Further, you agree to assume “all risk and danger incidental to the event, whether occurring prior to, during, or subsequent to the event, including the danger of being injured by thrown or broken bats, thrown or batted balls and objects thrown into the stands for entertainment purposes.” In other words, get bruised from a hot dog shot into the stands by the Parrot—you’re on your own because your ticket also serves as a contract that you agree that noone associated with the club or major league baseball will be held liable for injuries resulting from such causes.

Finally, the ticket states “No bottles, cans, or alcoholic beverages [are] permitted in the park.”

And then they send vendors through the stands selling $8 beers in cans and bottles.

All this sound like too much stress? Tough luck—“NO REFUNDS AND NO EXCHANGES.”

Jim Sankey is a baseball columnist for Allied News.

Text Only
  • THE CHECKERED FLAG: Up and down week for Sodeman

    LAST FRIDAY I headed south to add I-77 Raceway Park to my track attended list, which made for 162nd track all-time.  I-77 is located south of Ripley, West Virginia just off Interstate 77.  This season, I-77 moved from the crowded Saturday night line-up to Friday night racing and teamed up with Ohio Valley Speedway.  I-77 normally runs Super Late Models, Semi-Late Models, E-Mods, Mod Lites, and 4-Cylinder Mini Stocks.  With the Sprint Cars on the schedule, I decided to make the trip and they were joined by the Super Late Models, Semi-Late Models, and E-Mods.

    July 21, 2014

  • THE CHECKERED FLAG: Blaney still running hot on area tracks

    LAST THURSDAY I headed southwest to Atomic Speedway, formerly known as KC Raceway.  The 1/3-mile high-banked dirt oval is located an hour south of Columbus, Ohio just off Route 23 near Alma.  It was my first visit in a couple years.  A big crowd turned out on Independence Day Eve as the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars were back along with the Super Late Models and E-Mods.  The Ohio Speedweek event the week before drew a huge 62-car field and Thursday’s event drew 33.
    After an astounding Speedweek winning the final three races and four of six, Dale Blaney returned to the track that he last got defeated at.  On the Speedweek show, Jac Haudenschild made the winning pass of Blaney, while Blaney finished second.  Last Thursday, even a seventh starting spot didn’t derail Blaney for long.  The Hartford, Ohio racer worked his way to the front and made the winning pass of race-long leader Tim Shaffer on lap 16.  One caution three laps from the finish was all that slowed Blaney’s run to another $5,000 payday.  It was Blaney’s fourth straight win, sixth of the season, and all-time leading 105th of his career with the All Stars.

    July 13, 2014

  • EXTRA INNINGS: Bucs fans loved Burnett, but let's leave him in Philly

    THERE IS NO no doubt that A.J. Burnett made a huge impact during his two seasons with the Pirates.
    When he arrived in the spring of 2012, so did hope for fans wearied by teams that hadn’t seen a winning record in 20 summers.
    While he certainly did not turn the tide by himself, he turned the wheel. His swagger sometimes didn’t play well with management, but even the Buc brass had to appreciate the new culture that Burnett helped his teammates create.

    July 9, 2014

  • NCAA Football: Rock 6-1 after 17-3 win over Cal U

    Slippery Rock University rode a length-of-the-field scoring drive by its offense and a goal-line stand by its No. 1-ranked defense late in the first half of action Saturday to a 17-3 win over 14th-ranked visiting California (Pa.).

    October 19, 2011

  • steez pc.jpg NFL: Steelers top Jags as Mendenhall makes return

    Mike Tomlin isn’t ready to say the Pittsburgh Steelers are back. Not after watching his team sleepwalk through the second half against Jacksonville on Sunday.

    October 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • wheldon, dan pc.jpg IndyCar Racing: Crash takes Wheldon’s life

    Every race car driver heads onto the track understanding this race could be the last and hoping it won’t be. On Sunday, IndyCar drivers got a harsh reminder when the worst happened to one of their own.

    October 19, 2011 3 Photos

  • pens pc.jpg NHL: Sabres beat Penguins 3-2

    The Buffalo Sabres have had trouble with the Pittsburgh Penguins whether Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin play or not.

    October 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • canadiens logo pc.jpg NHL Quick glance: Montreal at Pittsburgh

    A breakdown of the National Hockey League game Thursday night between the Pittsburgh Penguins and visiting Montreal Canadiens.

    October 19, 2011 4 Photos

  • High School Highlights: Oct. 19, 2011

    A look at the last few days in local high school fall sports action.

    October 19, 2011

  • washington, ron pc.jpg Leading Off: Oct. 19, 2011

    News and notes from the local, regional and national sports scene.

    October 19, 2011 5 Photos

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide