"No Professional Cameras" at Miami Heat game

Discussion in 'Sports' started by randrew1, May 30, 2006.

  1. I was in Miami yesterday to see a basketball playoff game. I thought I would
    give my Nikon D200 a little work from the 300 level seats. As we approached the
    AA Arena the PA system anounced that video cameras and professional cameras were
    not allowed. I managed to convince the security guard that the D200 is a high
    end amateur camera, but there was no way they were letting a 70-300 telephoto
    into the building. Fortunately I had plenty of time to go back to the rental car
    and put my camera in the trunk. My primary purpose was to watch the game rather
    than take pictures so I was not too disappointed.

    I've carried a camera bag with multiple lenses and a monopod into other
    professional sporting events and never had a problem. Is this just Miami or is
    this something new?
  2. Don't leave valuables in the trunk of your car.
  3. __you need to write a letter to the management and find out why? If you pay for a seat, and the ticket does not have "Thou shall not use a camera" on it, you may be good for a refund. It is like a auto dealer having a price for a automobile, you sign the paperwork and then find out that the "tires" are extra. Florida has some different laws but if a NASCAR race lets you drag a camera into their sporting "event," the same rules should apply throughout the state.

    Miami is not the place to have anyone watch you put a camera bag back into your vehicle.
  4. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Always get clearance in advance if you're taking in anything beyond a point and shoot, for any type of event. That's the moral of the story. It's true in many cities for many different types of events.
  5. The moral is find out before you go. Don't expect any kind of security people to discern between a professional camera and amature. I'll bet my Focal-brand 500mm f/8 lens is a Professional Lens.

    A while back, we went to see Neil Diamond- the rule there was no cameras, period.
  6. Ron, I took my 20D fitted with 100-400 4.5-5.6L to the weightlifting venue at the Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne last March. I got through security without a query for the afternoon session but when I fronted up for the evening session security said I couldn't take the camera in, as it was professional equipment. I argued that I was an amateur with no intention of making any commercial use of photos, that such equipment was owned by countless amateurs, and moreover, that the venue web-site had said photography was allowed except for flash. The supervisor of security was called and he also refused to let me in. They then got the venue chief of security involved. The upshot was that after a lot of argument I got in with my equipment.

    I have been able to get in to the Moto GP Grand Prix racing with the same equipment for the last two years. Although security let people in with long lenses there were other security people hassling photographers around the track. I doubt that I will get in this year.

    The problem is that security staff at sporting venues here don't seem to have clear instructions on what is or isn't allowed. And some don't know what they are looking at anyway - although white lenses get immediate attention. I have yet to see any statement prohibiting particular categories of photographic equipment on promoter's literature or web sites.

    It's very discouraging really. I can see me shooting just birds and landscapes the way things are going.
  7. ...the Department of Defense is another prime example. A year or two after the New York City 9-11 event, one base (U.S. Air Force) was scheduling a open house for the public on base. No camera bags, almost no diaper bags __ this was held to foster public enjoyment of the base's air show.

    Same year on a U.S. Navy air station, the only issue was for the security folks to look into your camera bag to make sure it had a camera and lenses inside. No problem with any type of lens or tripod.

    Maybe Air Force aircraft cost more tax dollars than Navy jets?
  8. I've never seen the "no professional equipment" thing done up in signage, and it's a little odd considering that they'll let any media agency that wants to shoot right from the floor with professional equipment (and it's really not that difficult to get press credentials through the venue's media relations department), but by God don't let them catch you in the nosebleeds with a zoom lens. In any case, it would be nice if they'd have alerted you prior to the game that there were unique limits on what you could bring in, because as has been noted, there are some places that it's not a good idea to let people see you putting something back in your car with the knowledge that you're going to be abandoning it for several hours.

    As for a lot of those other situations people have described, that's mostly due to security folks not always being the brightest bulbs in the drawer. They get their marching orders and go with them. I actually work for the Defense Department as a public affairs officer, and yet I often have to deal with obtuse security types that don't understand I rate special access. Too often, actually.

    When I was working in broadcasting in the military (for a Navy-run AFRTS outlet in Europe), we were setting up a Betacam to videotape a beauty pageant when a couple of the Navy security guys came to tells us we couldn't set up our "home video" gear there -- how on earth can someone be so dense as to confuse a BETACAM for a home video setup?

    I'm betting those Air Force guys were thinking more about efficiency -- allowing no bags means no slowing down lines to inspect them. The Navy realized people might actually want to photograph the air show, and thus decided to let the lines be slowed down for the inspections. There's a certain amount of logic to both attacks, and as someone wiser than I once said, if you aren't being inconvienced by your security procedures, they aren't doing their job.
  9. it


    I had this happen at a Leaf's game a couple of years ago. I was in the absolute top row of the Air Canada Centre and I had a crew of employees show up to inspect my Xpan. They had to make sure I didn't have a lens longer than 80mm.
  10. Thanks for all of the responses. I get the impression that there are no consistent policies. I checked the fine print on the ticket. It had the usual stuff about no transmitting, distributing, or selling any description, account, picture, or audio version. It is interesting that they have the right to use my image without permission.

    As I said, my main purpose was to enjoy the game. Photography (in this case) was secondary. When my purpose is to shoot pictures I will get permission.
  11. I have had some luck with a cheap 28-300 Tamron zoom. It looks like a "regular" lens with its compact build. The field or court needs to be well lit and I use a higher ISO rating than I like but you can't have everything. It also helps to get closer to the action so you have to get a better seat.
  12. In some public places you can call ahead and get a 'press pass' if you tell them it is for a class
    or school project. I walked around the Mega-Mall in Minnesota with a professional video
    camera using that trick.
  13. You have gotten some pretty bad advice here. Posted bellow this message from me is from two Heat official sites. Most nba arenas as well as all pro sports teams/arenas/stadiums have some sort of camera policy. Some may be just no monopods and tripods to no cameras at all. For those who think you should have been let in, just because you buy a ticket does not mean you can take pictures just because you own a camera. If I buy a Ferrari and it can go 200mph, can I hop on the freeway and go as fast as the car can go? Not without getting a lot of tickets and probably spend a night or two in jail.

    Many people consider any camera with a removable lens a pro camera. A point and shoot is usually fine, but when you start to pull out lenses and stuff, it is a pro camera, in there eyes. Always check out the websites for info and contact the team office before you take your camera. You will enjoy the game a lot more if you do not have to worry about if your car is getting broken into....

    From American Airlines Arena Website:

    # Can I bring my camera into the AmericanAirlines Arena?
    There are no flash cameras or video cameras allowed inside the building.

    From the Miami Heat Web page:
    What is the camera and video policy for Miami HEAT games held at the AmericanAirlines Arena?
    Video cameras are not allowed in the arena. The use of "non-professional" still cameras without flash is permitted during Miami HEAT Basketball games.
  14. If you spend some time reading the message boards at www.sportsshoter.com you'll find that professional (and college) sports teams and venues have extensive rules about photography that frustrate even the professional there to shoot on assignment for major news organizations with proper credentials. To expect to walk into any of these events with anything resembling serious equipment and shoot what you want is honestly a bit naive. You have to remember that teams and venues are privately owned businesses putting on an entertainment performance featuring celebrity performers who are very restrictive about how they are portrayed. It may be right or wrong but it's there private property and they make the rules. Another issue is that there is no such thing as "professional" equipment. Professional equipment is any equipment used by someone who makes their living at photography. It can be a Nikon D2x with a 400 2.8 or a plastic Holga (think fuzzy "fine art" that sells for big bucks in NY art galleries).
  15. Oooohhh! I'll have to remember that trick! :)

    Michael shelby johnsoN wrote:

    "In some public places you can call ahead and get a 'press pass' if you tell them it is for a class or school project. I walked around the Mega-

    Mall in Minnesota with a professional video camera using that trick."
  16. This is funny. I was at a Baltimore Ravens game last year and they were fine with any sort of camera equipment... but you couldn't take the bag inside!! So basically saying that take whatever you can fit in your hands or pockets...

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