The Yankees fan who threw a baseball at Alex Verdugo over the weekend was banned for life from all MLB stadiums.
But is the draconian punishment actually enforceable?
In a recent interview with the Globe’s Michael Silverman, a Red Sox spokesperson explained how the team enforces bans from Fenway Park. The Red Sox have banned multiple fans over the years for violating Fenway’s Code of Conduct, including an attendee who uttered a racial slur in the stands in 2017.
“It is certainly difficult to enforce, but our protocol includes sending an official notification that the individual is not allowed on Fenway Park property which gives law enforcement the ability to arrest them if they are found inside the ballpark,” said Zineb Curran. “That threat offers a significant deterrent for fans that have been banned. We also flag them in the ticketing system so that they cannot purchase tickets or receive them through the ballpark app.”
Of course, fans can purchase tickets outside of the ballpark app, including through third-party purveyors such as Ace and Stubhub. That would seem to be the way to skirt a ban.
But then again, the threat of arrest is pretty severe. With that in mind, the efficacy of stadium bans seemingly depend on a person’s risk tolerance.
Are you willing to risk arrest for a chance to see the hometown nine in person?
“While this method is not foolproof, it’s an approach we think sends a strong message against serious forms of unacceptable behavior at Fenway Park that have warranted such a severe penalty,” Curran said.