ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) —Pro sports teams and athletes in California have had enough.
They’ve had enough of fans running onto the field or court.
In the past, fans who were arrested for this behavior most often got small fines.
The teams are hoping to change that.
Players, coaches and referees all say things have gotten out of hand.
A bill has been introduced that would include jail time. Lots of jail time. And a big fine.
CBS2’s Stacey Butler spoke to fans and team officials who are on board with a crackdown on fans disrupting play.
No game is immune. They run on the football field. One ran out on a basketball court to hug Kobe Bryant. A fan ran out to give a Giants left-fielder a flower. He got tackled for his efforts.
If California lawmakers have their way, no more slaps on the wrist. No more $250 fines. They want out-of-control fans to get 10 days of jail time. Mandatory. And that fine will jump to $2,000. Depending on what the fans does, they could be jailed for up to a year.
Butler spoke to fans at Angel Stadium who had plenty to say on the subject.
“It’s for the protection of the players. Yeah, it starts out funny, but you don’t know how serious it can be,” said Dodgers fan Mia Almada.
“If you have something like that in place, then I really, really feel it would stop the copycatters,” said Vivian Quevedo.
“I think it’s a good thing,” said Angels fan Sandi Boulin, “It interrupts the game. It puts the players in danger. You can never be too safe these days.”
Some thought the new law could be a bit much.
“It’s guys just trying to have a good time, they run on the field think it’s OK. But I don’t think they should be criminally charged. I think it’s a bit excessive,” said Fernando Chafino, a Dodgers fan.
Tim Mead is the Angels of Anaheim’s vice president of operations. He said while security is tight, crazed fans are a growing threat to players who are focused on the game.
“I think years ago you used to look at it as almost funny,” says Mead, “Unfortunately, some of the things that go on in our society you certainly don’t want to be pessimistic about it. … You can’t take chances.”
The Angels were one of five teams that sponsored the bill.