DENVER (CBS4) – A longtime Broncos season ticket holder says he has been ordered to complete the NFL’s new fan conduct course or he can’t come back for another game.
Scott Thoemke, who says he has been a season ticket holder for 27 years, says the trouble started when he was caught drinking alcohol he had brought into the stands in a personal flask.
Thoemke says he was questioned by six brash staff members for 45 minutes and warned. After that he was told he could then go back to his seats. Thoemke said he was so mad, though, that he wound up just leaving the stadium.
“To be as heavy handed, as rude and disrespectful as they were, and the number of staff it took to respond to that relatively minor situation was out of control,” he said.
Stadium officials then mailed a letter saying he had been ejected and would have to complete the NFL’s online conduct course if he wanted to come back “…and until then if I appeared on the premises I would be found guilty of trespassing.”
Thoemke acknowleges he violated the rules, but says he feels staff overreacted and treated him badly.
Security officials at the stadium said the fan conduct course was introduced by the NFL this year. It is for fans ejected for a number of behavior violations and covers everything from alcohol abuse to stress management.
Thoemke insists he left on his own and wasn’t ejected. He is refusing to go through the course.
“It feels pretty awful. It was very very very upsetting, to the point that I’m done with the Broncos,” Thoemke said.
Officials said about 50 fans get kicked out of the Broncos stadium during each game. The average attendance at the stadium is 76,000.