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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Court Finds City's Sports Ticket Sale Ban Near Stadiums Constitutional

In a second case involving a challenge to a City of Chicago ordinance, the Illinois appellate court again ruled in favor of the City. City of Chicago v. Haywood.

The City of Chicago has an ordinance that states as follows:
It shall be unlawful for any person, while located on the public way within 2,000 feet of a stadium or playing field, to sell, offer, or expose for sale, or solicit any other person to purchase tickets for any amusement produced or presented in that stadium or playing field. (Chicago Municipal Code §10-8-505(a))
Haywood was arrested twice for selling sports tickets within 2,000 feet of Wrigley Field. He countered by arguing that the City's ordinance was unconstitutional on several grounds, including that it violated his First Amendment rights and was overbroad. The circuit court agreed, and found the ordinance unconstitutional.

The appellate court reversed. First, the court held that selling sports tickets does not implicate any First Amendment rights. Second, because the ordinance did not implicate any fundamental rights, it only needed to satisfy "rational basis." In this case, the City argued that the ordinance was intended to ensure the safe and unobstructed flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic near sports stadiums. The appellate court accepted that, and reversed the trial court's ruling finding the ordinance was constitutional.


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