Blue Bombers ban the beer-cup snake

August 11, 2010

Commercial, Negligence

This is admittedly on the fringe of lex sportiva but the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, a professional football team based out of my home city, last month banned the beer-cup snake from its stadium. Constructed from thousands of plastic beer cups and stretching over 30 rows, the beer snake was conceived at a 9 July losing game against the Toronto Argonauts.

Beer Cup Snake at Winnipeg Blue Bombers football game on 9 July 2010

The beer snake met its demise when fans tore at its tendrils and threw the stacked cups towards the field. Blue Bombers staff allege the lobbed cups caused some minor injuries and generated a flurry of complaints from fans who were in the line of fire and sprayed with stale beer.

Canadian football does not have a history of hooliganism, spectator disorder or crowd disturbance.

Citing safety concerns, Winnipeg Blue Bombers president Jim Bell banned the beer-cup snake from ever reappearing and beefed up the presence of police in the most raucous sections of the stadium at subsequent games.

Defenders of the snake argued that the snake was not at fault but rather it was the cups which made up the snake being thrown which was the problem. This subtle distinction however fell on deaf ears.

In discharging the duty of care owed to spectators under the Occupiers Liability Act to take reasonable care in the circumstances to ensure that fans are reasonably safe, the team nipped this snake in the grass.

Check out the 31 second YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3RctSIo7vQ

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