View Full Version : Cameras & pro sports
12-23-2000, 06:32 PM
I got playoff tickets for the Vikes, and it's been a few years since I've been to a game. I want to bring my camera--is that legal? Do they allow them in the arena? I remember getting patted down when I go to concerts, but what about pro football? Help, I really want to know because if I bring it I can't turn around and leave it in the car, because it's a digital camera and I don't want to let it freeze.
12-23-2000, 06:35 PM
I should add...it's a Sony Mavica 91 with a big zoom on it, so no way could I "sneak" it in. It's a huge camera.
I hate to say this, but "it depends". Most stadiums allow you to take your own pictures from your seat that you paid for. If you walk in with a camera with a lens the size of an obervatory, you probably won't be able to use it because you won't have enough room.
So, you could call ahead and see if anyone at the stadium knows what the policy is. Alternatively, most sports venues give people receipts for materials that they can't bring in. That's the procedure used at the Rose Bowl.
However, the people running the stadium might not want to be responsible for something that expensive. At the Rose Bowl, most of the stuff being held are things like ice chests and baby strollers.
12-23-2000, 07:54 PM
Thanks BobT I will call them and ask. But, this is what happened to me last time: I called the venue when I went to see Cirque du Soleil in Sept. and they told me "no cameras". Later at the show I saw a few people with cameras, although I didn't watch them like an eagle and they might have been told to put them away.
My camera isn't huge enough that I wouldn't have any room or interfere with anyone around me, but it is too bulky to smuggle in under my coat or in a purse.
12-23-2000, 08:58 PM
Try getting a press pass. Then maybe you can use the camera. Say that you are doing it for the venerable internet news and information site http://www.straightdope.com
12-23-2000, 09:18 PM
The first thing I did to try to find you an answer, Bosc, was to go to http://www.vikings.com to see if they had any info there. No dice. Plus I got seriously distracted by the Cheerleader Roster. My personal favorites are Erika, Erin (she's triligual!), Kelly, Theresa and the tall drink of water Beth...
So it looks like officially the answer is no. But I can tell you that Mile High Stadium also has a "No cameras or recording devices of any kind allowed in the stadium" rule But I saw plenty of flashbulbs going off after the final play. It could be that the staff turns a blind eye to it, or it could be that a whole bunch of Broncos fans just brought flash bulbs to the game.
Of course, as a representative of the SDMB I would never officially endorse illegal activities, so just take all that info for what it's worth.
12-23-2000, 09:23 PM
I've been to oodles of concerts and sporting events over the last ten years or so, and it's only been at concerts have I been asked to stop taking photographs.
It's not, generally, the use of cameras that people object to, but the use of flashes. Of course, if you're in the Metrodome and more than 10' from the field, you're not going to use a flash anyway, right?
12-23-2000, 10:04 PM
Like Montfort says, it's the flash that is objected to. I've been able to take cameras into concerts, and I wouldn't be using a flash anyway. You should get to the game early, and if for some reason they won't let you in, you'll have time to put your camera back in the car and still make the kickoff. I've had times when the staff at one gate wouldn't let me in, so I'd just keep walking to the next gate until I found one that would let me in.
12-23-2000, 10:55 PM
At large events like football games and concerts, it's actually the fear of you selling your photos for a profit as much as flash photography that makes them so persnickety about cameras. Most news organizations like the one I work for have to sign agreements when they're issued photo credentials that they won't use the images they take except in an editorial context (i.e., with stories about the team in newspapers or on TV), and reselling those photos are right out. Why?
These days, teams/performers don't make their money so much from the paid attendance at their events (though it certainly doesn't hurt) as they do from the merchandising and licensing their image and logo and such. And they tend to very jealously protect that piece of the pie from schmucks who might sit in the stands, snap off some photos, and then sell their own Vikings t-shirts/posters/whatever on the street without paying royalties to the team. To them, it's basically the equivalent of bootlegging a software program, or selling fake designer jeans - someone else is profiting from their property.
Ergo, the restriction on cameras; but mostly, they're worried about people sneaking in with high-end telephoto gear, and not so much people like you with a point-and-shoot who obviously just want a few photos for a keepsake. Gymnastics is the only sport I can think of where they ban spectator cameras particularly because the flash is distracting to the athletes.
Concerts are a bit of a different story - a lot of the time you're sitting close enough to the performer that you COULD get a poster-quality image with just an ordinary point-and-shoot. And thus they're a little bit more iron-fisted there...plus, it seems like record companies are even more protective of these sorts of things than sports teams.
12-23-2000, 11:35 PM
Damn Alphagene -- thats an hour of my life that I wont get back I spend looking at the cheerleaders...It was a very nice hour though....
I would add that I have been to numerous big ticket sporting events (Olympics, World Cups, World Series, Rose Bowls) and I have never ever seen someone with a normal point and shoot camera have it confiscated at the entrance.
Cirque du Soleil has a bigger interest in keeping from taking photographs than the NFL. It's highly unlikely that you are going to take come up with nicer shots than what NFL Films will get.
12-24-2000, 10:27 AM
Alphagene! How did you miss Roxanne? She's (occasionally) a redhead, and is studying Mechanical Engineering, Biology AND Spanish. Talk about diverse. Think of all the ignorance she could eradicate, We need to recruit her to be the official SDMB cheerleader.
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