CONTRACTING THE USE OF THE FACILITY
Facility Use Information
Perhaps the greatest challenge to Team and Facility management is contracting the use of the facility so that the only issue is the outcome of the game, not a spectator's or that evening's rock concert fan's lawsuit. Resolution of this mutual concern is best resolved by a formal agreement that honors the intentions of contractual reciprocity, i.e., "I'll take care of my responsibilities if you take care of your's."
Acknowledging that any given Facility can present differing circumstances of ownership and use by other lessees/contractors, the intended reciprocity is best accomplished by a contract that addresses at least the following considerations:
1. Acknowledging the presence of a formal league schedule as the basis for a contractual agreement, the times (not merely dates) of which the agreement will be in effect needs contractual understanding, whether expressed in clock hours or by function (e.g., upon arrival and departure). It is then important to make any cause for cancellation a known possibility with a known understanding of expectation and consequence.
2. Contractual agreements should start with and clearly indicate the respective duties of each party and the areas of their operation, e.g., premises maintenance (before, during, and after use), concurrent usages if any of other lessees, spectator services (e.g., seating, concessions, and parking), disaster control, emergency medical services, and security" and then clearly stipulate who will be responsible for the claims arising from those duties and areas.
3. Contract language can then allow each party to release the other from liability for injuries and loss of property arising from incidents that are unrelated to the responsibilities of the other party, i.e., to the effect that
" ... (1st party) shall defend, indemnify, and hold (2nd party) harmless for (injuries and loss of property) but only in proportion to and to the extent such " are caused by or result from the activities and alleged negligence of (1st party) ... "
to be written once on behalf of the Facility and then again on behalf of the Team.
4. Each party should then contractually require the other to maintain liability insurance of a stated minimum level, provided by a carrier of a stated minimum quality rating, with participant legal liability coverage included, and be named as an additional insured on that policy for those exposures accepted by contract.
Loss Control Considerations
5. Following contractual agreement, each party needs to address loss control measures that minimize opportunities for injury associated with this agreement. It is especially important to return to and honor the areas of operation in which the duties accepted by contract apply. For example,
a. Premises maintenance, on one hand, can mean the entire complex or the locker room. On the other hand, it can mean continuous maintenance or a return to its prior state after use. Understandings and loss control attentions (e.g., walk-through inspections prior to and after use) must be true to the agreement of intentions. It would be most prudent, for example to make automatic a loss control walk-through of the locker room and adjoining ramp to the field before use to note (and address) atypical conditions as well as after use.
b. On site duties for emergency medical services must distinguish that for stricken players from that for stricken patrons (and the exception for major catastrophes). However, the presence of ambulances and their release for a hospital run must be coordinated in a mutually understood manner for management of both parties' needs.
c. Contractual understanding of responsibility for disaster control, including the procedures for receiving and responding to bomb threats and adverse weather advisories, must be followed by mutual understanding of, and compliance with, those procedures.
d. "Security" covers "whatever". However responsibility is determined, advance planning and training for those ideal judgments for handling the various problems within "crowd control" is not the only goal. Facility management has the opportunity to loss control various problems by policy and practice, e.g., how alcohol sales are to be made, including their termination at a given time of the game. The equivalent opportunity for Team management to loss control player behavior while on premises is less obvious but should at least be examined.
e. The preference and ability of the Team or Facility to transfer selected operations (e.g., security, concessions, transportation) to other parties is not affected unless explicitly understood to be otherwise by contract language. However, should it be permitted, the agreed respective duties of Team and Facility do not change. Consequently, the sub-contracting to others for such should honor the above principles to ensure mutual understandings of responsibility between these parties as well.