I’m more intrigued by the background of how this case made it to court than I am in the specific ruling:
The park district described the dispute as “a far-reaching issue of great public importance,” while the Bears argued that the real heart of the disagreement was money.
The [Chicago] Bears claimed that the park district, which owns Soldier Field, simply didn’t want to pay the additional cost of having police pat down thousands of fans arriving for games.
The park district refused to conduct the searches last season, and the team hired a private security firm to do it. Fans were searched before the final home game and a playoff game.
I’m a tad confused as to why the park district would sue, so the judge’s ruling that the it lacks standing seems correct. Yet, I’m amazed at how the issue arose. Presumably the Bears have a lease for Soldier Field, and presumably that lease indicates if game security is provided (or not, by omission). Since that isn’t indicated in the story, I’m working under the impression that it’s not stated. If I’m correct, can the Bears possibly be so arrogant as to expect the park district will provide it security services as the team deems appropriate? The public handout of a cheap stadium isn’t enough?
The better scenario is for the team to operate its own stadium, and provide the security it deems appropriate. If the fans deem the search requirement onerous and unfair, they won’t attend. The team can’t search a fan on his couch. If this results in harm to the team, it’s worthwhile to remember that the team is not entitled to any guarantee of revenue or continued existence. That’s a bit like the burden every other business in America faces.
Previous thoughts here, although my opinion has changed since I wrote that entry. I must’ve still been upset by that loss by the Redskins to express the proper skepticism for the searches.