A New Gold Standard for Sports PSLs: The Golden State Warriors’ Membership Program

By: Michael Medved

I. Introduction

For the 2019-2020 National Basketball Association season, the Golden State Warriors concluded their long residency in Oakland’s Oracle Arena and embarked on a move across the bay to San Francisco’s newly constructed Chase Center.[1] True to the pathos of their Silicon Valley backgrounds, Warriors’ ownership implemented an innovative financing mechanism to assist in this move. But, “[w]hile Chase Center follows many 21st century arena trends—favoring an intimate fan experience instead of maximizing its seating capacity—the building’s financing [ran] counter to established norms.”[2]

The radical financing scheme the Warriors implemented to fuel construction of the Chase Center was called a membership program.[3] This program was an alteration to Personal Seat License’ (PSL) agreements as previously used by other sports franchises.[4] The membership program allowed the Warriors to solicit their rabid and wealthy fanbase to help fund construction of the Chase Center. Bruce Schoenfeld of the New York Times claims that Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber had envisioned this scheme since their purchase of the team. “Once Warriors’ owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber decided their team needed a new arena, in San Francisco—and they seemingly made that decision before they bought the team in 2010—they also knew who would pay for it: the fans.”[5] Ultimately, the success of the program allowed “the Warriors to consolidate their arena, practice facility and basketball operations offices under a single roof and allow[ed] them to tighten their grip over all aspects of their business.”[6]

This article illuminates how the Warriors were able to persuade their fans to become purchasers of their membership offering in order to finance construction of the Chase Center. Specifically, this article will focus on how the Warriors were remarkably successful in this endeavor despite this membership not including the price of admission; but solely providing for the right to purchase admission. In doing so, this article will note the innovative strategies used by the Warriors that were held out as “carrots” to turn fans­—the most profitable of which being the Silicon Valley’s tech giants— into members. It will conclude with a recommendation for how future NBA teams incorporating a PSL should steal from the Warriors’ playbook.

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Are All Americans Deserving of Equal Privacy Rights in the Age of the Internet of Things?

By: Colin Nardone

I. Introduction

In this modern technology age, do we really have a right to privacy? Practically everything we do, whether it is checking the weather, changing our thermostat, or using an internet connected home security system, is tracked by some company online. These companies compile these vast amounts of data, and often sell them to the highest bidder. Sometimes, even the police gain access to this data in order to solve crimes. Does the Constitution have any meaning in this kind of hyper-connected world?

The Fourth amendment provides “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” but is there anything left to these words to provide that security for individuals, especially those most impoverished in our country?[1] Within the last few decades, the Supreme Court has generally recognized a right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment in specific contexts where technology is involved.[2] But does this same right extend equally to all Americans including those who live in public housing across the United States?

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Modernizing Commercial Aviation: A Proposal for Blockchain as a Solution to Aircraft Registration and Recordation

By: Colin Mummery

I. Introduction

Aircraft financing is a distinctive area of commercial asset-based financing because of unique rules, regulations, and practices.[1] Indeed, the inherent mobile capacity of an aircraft raises important considerations for financing as compared with more traditional fixed assets such as real estate.[2] The law governing any aircraft financing involves a combination of international, federal, and state law.[3] While federal statutes provide for a national system of aircraft registration and lien recordation, the validity and priority of an interest remain state law questions.[4] The ratification by the United States of the Cape Town Convention and associated aircraft Protocol further impacts the federal and state interplay with respect to aircraft objects covered by the Convention by altering certain rules governing aircraft financings through the establishment of an international framework for the creation, registration, enforcement, and prioritization of certain interests relating to specified airframes, engines, and helicopters.[5]

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