Best Practices for Allowing Animals at a Sports Complex
Best friends in this day and age come in different forms: from Australian shepherds to Boston terriers to St. Bernards. Many sports fans bemoan leaving their four-legged friends at the house while they support their favorite baseball, basketball, soccer, football, or hockey team. What could be more fun than taking your most loving family member to the local sports complex to watch your favorite professional or amatuer team? If you want to give these fans and athletes the opportunity to bring their furry friends to your sports complex, you should keep a few things in mind.
Designate Clear, Specific Rules Regarding Animals
If you allow dogs, will you allow any pets? You can limit the types of pets at your sports facilities, but you must explicitly state which pets are allowed and which aren’t. People love all different kinds of animals, and you could find yourself with some odd, exotic pets on your hands if you didn’t specify which were allowed.
There are other things to consider. Pets should stay on leashes, yes? Or no? Will you designate a specific area of your sports complex for pet owners to walk their pets? What happens when something goes wrong and a pet gets loose? You will have to draft an entire set of rules and training based specifically on pets at your facilities. This might take a bit of work, but it could be a worthwhile endeavor.
Dog Days of Summer Games
Some professional sports teams already designate specific games as pet friendly. These teams not only allow but also encourage fans to bring their four-legged pals to cheer on the home team. Some teams even create specific sections of the sports complex with pets in mind. This separation of the pet section from the regular section of fans can limit any issues of allergic reactions or unhappy pet-hating fans.
If a fan or athlete needs a dog as a service animal, you should accommodate them. The price of doing so will pale in comparison to the cost, in terms of finances and image, of fighting off a discrimination lawsuit. Service animals are highly trained for a few specific purposes. They don’t typically make for difficult animals to deal with.
Get Help With Major Sports Complex Decisions
If your team struggles with those major, hard-hitting sports complex decisions, feel free to contact our Sports Facilities Management crew. We have years of experience working through everything from financial entanglements to advertising struggles to staffing issues. Don’t go it alone. Give Sports Facilities Management a call instead.