Looking Beyond Your Sports Ticket Purchase

by Lilly on March 20, 2013

Sports tickets are sold by the millions to every sport you can imagine.  Fans buy their ticket and look forward to the thrill of the game and the roar of the crowd. But is that all you get with that ticket? It seems simple enough, your money for a seat. But are you inadvertently agreeing to more than you realize just by the act of your purchase? The small print on those tickets may mean that you are.

Injury or Death

There are risks when attending a sports event.  Safety equipment can fail.  For example, spectators in car races have been injured even killed when colliding cars hurl broken parts higher than the safety fence and into the crowd. At ball games people in the closer rows have infrequently been hit with errant ball or bleachers have collapsed.  Most ticket sellers and sports arenas have thought of these things ahead even though they rarely happen. Ticket Master one of the largest companies that sell tickets of all kinds has included information on the back of each ticket. After informing the buyer what to do if they are accidentally injured they go on to say that the buyer has waived all rights or claims to sue on behalf of themselves or a minor should anything happen before, after or during the event. This means also that nobody on your behalf can sue in the event of your death, not a doctor, a spouse, or any other family member or friend.


Most know they agree not to take photos or videos at an event. But did you also know you are agreeing to allow any taken of you to be used in any way the company wishes? Again Ticketmaster states on their tickets that the events are public so therefore the purchaser has given permission that their likeness, movements even their voice can be used in any way in any media. This means they can use you in any kind of advertising without reimbursing you in any way. This includes magazines, newspapers, billboards, videos, TV, radio and any other media. You do not even have a right to be contacted first. When you buy your ticket you are authorizing them to do as they wish concerning these things.


Ticket buyers are also agreeing to a possible invasive procedure upon demand when entering the event. Certain items are not allowed into events such as cameras, alcohol, noisemakers, controlled substances, strobe lights and more. Some items are banned at all events; some may depend on the event but any case they can search against your will. The event organizers and employees are able to search you to make sure you are not carrying any of these things. In addition you agree to allow your belongings, for example a purse or backpack, to be searched as well. If you refuse to comply they retain the right to bar you from entering the event and you will not be issued a refund.

The best advice is to take time to read the small print so you are fully aware of what you have agreed to when purchasing tickets. Keep in mind though that while all of this seems intrusive and even scary going to a sporting event rarely results in anything but a lot of excitement and a good time.


Lilly Sheperd is a freelance writer and occasional blogger currently working for Invenio Marketing.



I'm Lilly Sheperd, an occasional guest-blogger and a full time freelance communication consultant. When not blogging, I like to travel and read a lot, especially about education and law.

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