I couldn’t find an open sports board, so placing this question here.
I don’t follow sports and am not interested in it, but I came across an interesting news item that is puzzling me. The quarterback Tom Brady I guess had retired recently, then suddenly came back from retirement. There’s an article - I presume this is real, seemed legitimate, but maybe it’s not - that says the final ball of his career was auctioned and sold for half-a-million dollars.
I assumed the ball was being sold by the team company, or maybe even Brady himself. It is said a “lucky fan” sold the ball. Supposedly, the ball was kicked into the seats during play and a fan caught it, and then kept it. It was compared to another incident where some player’s football hit the seats, but the team management bought the ball from the person for a small price.
Here’s what’s puzzling me: aren’t these footballs the property of the team? If all this is true, it seems to me that the understanding is, once a piece of sports equipment hits the seats and is caught by someone, then that person is the owner. Is that legally enforceable? What would stop management from saying, you need to give us that back, you’re on our property, you have no legal claim to it? I would think the value of this stuff is already known, so there would be a contractual agreement between attendees and the sports companies through the fine print of ticket sales. Something seems off here, but then again, I really don’t know much about the sports industry, and I don’t watch games or consume sports-related news flow…(the only way I can think of this is through the concert industry: sometimes musicians throw things to the crowd, such as drum sticks…but would a musician not ask for a guitar back if it accidentally fell into the front row, or a microphone? Would the attendee in that case say, this is mine? Makes no sense, unless I am misunderstanding and the football was actually thrown into the stands on purpose)