Venue Policy Debate After Miami Heat Fans Denied Reentry

venue policy debate

During a nail-biting last few minutes, some Miami Heat fans left Game 6 of the NBA Finals assuming their beloved team had lost the championship. But then there was a last minute rally by the Heat sending the game into overtime. Unfortunately those fans that left early were not allowed reentry. This has triggered a venue policy debate nationwide, far beyond the sports world. A quick Q & A welcomes your thoughts.

Fair Weather Fan Folly Or Unfair?

It has been an exciting NBA championship series between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat, perhaps that excitement clouded a few individual's judgement. For those who didn't see the end of Game 6, the Spurs were in the lead and the clock had ticked down to mere minutes. It was around this time when some Miami Heat fans began to file out of the arena assuming the Heat would lose.

However, a rally by the Heat in the last few seconds lead to a tie and the subsequent overtime quarter. The Heat went on to win the game, forcing a Game 7 to be played. But as shown in this video, those fans that left early were not allowed reentry and missed the exciting action in overtime. The sports world and venue owners have been in a heated venue policy debate over the fate of those fans who left early.

Question: Should fans that left early been allowed back in?

At the top of the list in the argument is the ticket price. NBA Finals tickets start at around $200 and can go to exorbitant heights, northward of $10,000 for a seat. Some say that given the amount of money Heat fans paid, they should have been allowed back into the game.

Others say that those that left early deserved their fate for being so-called "fair weather fans" lacking faith in their home town team's ability to come back late in the 4th quarter.

Now may be a good time to step away from the passionate sports rhetoric and take a more objective business approach to the subject of venue policies like reentry. A small but smart faction debating the plight of the Heat fans say that the "no reentry" policy is clearly stated on both the paper ticket as well as being written on signs throughout the arena. It was also noted that the Miami Heat arena's reentry policy is in enforced at all times, for all ticketed events, with no special exceptions made for a NBA Finals game.

However there is a rather ominous bit at the very end of the video. City police had to be called to break up the large crowd that gathered to try and gain reentry back into the arena once the overtime period began. The arena has a stout private security force, but they obviously felt overwhelmed and asked Miami police for assistance.

At what point does policy enforcement become too strict and places the property (venue, rental space, equipment, etc.) at risk of being damaged?

Answering the question becomes even more difficult once matters like legal liability are added into the venue policy debate. A simple "no reentry" policy for fair weather fans can quickly deteriorate into having to deal with an unruly mob - a mob that may cause expensive damages or worse.

ThunderTix Event Ticketing Software

Your event may not have the giant capacity of the Miami Heat arena, and your event may not have the high stakes of a NBA Finals - but policy enforcement is just as important.

Be sure to have your venue reentry policy clearly printed on the tickets (be it thermal printer paper or Print-at-Home PDFs) as well as on signs displayed at the venue.

As a third layer of redundancy, you can force an agreement from your ticket buyers during the online purchase process with an on-screen prompt. The prompt is configured to require a mandatory response and the purchase process will not continue until one is given by your buyer.

Surveys With ThunderTixThe ThunderTix survey feature can be configured to function as a venue policy agreement and it can be made mandatory. This is one of the few use cases where a mandatory survey response is appropriate. You can learn more about the ThunderTix survey feature here.