Sportspark: Before You Go, Read the Fine Print Very Carefully

Sportspark: Before You Go, Read the Fine Print Very Carefully

“Read the fine print,” was the message we got from a local mom alarmed over what RIOC demands for anyone using Sportspark. We didn’t get around to it though until they started pushing their Roosevelt Island 3 V. 3 Basketball Tournament. Now, we’re alarmed too.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

You’ve heard the saying about “signing your life away?” Literally, that’s what the state agency insists on.

Our friend’s concerns were mainly about RIOC’s vague intentions about using her kids’ pictures… And not just the state agency but its unnamed “partners.”

Photos/videos will only be used for purposes related to RIOC and their related partners. Please sign below to give Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation permission to use your (or your child’s) photos/videos taken during an event.

Sportspark Signup Form

Using “related” twice in the same sentence is dopey enough, but it also underscores the alleged Communications Team’s amateurishness. Who knows what they have in mind? And we use the term “mind” loosely here.

The More Alarming Fine Print

RIOC’s whole approach to their basketball tournament is slipshod. The announce it without any details of how it works, another sign of underdevelopment. And that showed too when they adjusted the qualifications just one day after opening registrations.

Now, 18-year-olds can play, too. They say that’s due to “popular demand,” a cliche that, without details, really means nothing

But it’s the second bubble of fine print that should trouble anyone, including kids.

In consideration of my application and permitting me to utilize the basketball court in the Sportspark Athletic Complex, I hereby take action for myself, my executors, administrators, heirs, next of kin, successors and assigns as follows: (A) waive, release, and discharge from any and all liability for my death, disability, personal injury, property damage, property theft or actions of any kind which may hereafter accrue to me, the following entities or persons: Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation of the State of New York , the Empire State Development Corporation, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the State of New York, and the City of New York, their directors, officers, employees, volunteers, representatives, and agents, the Event holder, Event sponsor; and Event staff and volunteers (collectively “Releases”); and (B) Indemnify and Hold Harmless the Releases from any and all liabilities or claims made as result of participation in any activity in the Sportspark Athletic Complex, whether caused by the negligence of Releases or otherwise.

Sportspark Liability Disclaimer

Let’s make it simple. You can die because of negligence by RIOC or anyone else, but you and your family have no rights to any claims against them.

You are literally giving your life away for the right to use Sportspark for anything.


In their long 23 point registration form, RIOC demands that kids, their parents and guardians sign off on this harrowing erasure of accountability. Given the state agency’s track record – including a drowning in the Sportspark pool – why would anyone in their right mind sign off on this?

Read the fine print. It’s potentially more damaging than you can imagine. Let RIOC and “partners” use your children’s pictures without your review? Then, sign your and/or your kids’ lives away to let RIOC off the hook for whatever negligence they commit?

Just say, “No.”

4 thoughts on “Sportspark: Before You Go, Read the Fine Print Very Carefully

  1. Dear Mr. Stone,

    As you already know, you are a very smart, perceptive and socially engaged guy. But your habitual negativity and scorn for most everyone in a position of relative power, especially at RIOC, make it sometimes quite difficult to read what you have to say. Examples are not needed here as they abound throughout your articles. You also clearly have very thick skin, however. So I thought I should post this individual reaction to your otherwise thought-provoking, highly informative website.

    Thanks for your attention and excellent journalistic work, which is definitely appreciated. -sm

    1. Thanks but I don’t create the news. I report it honestly as I see. And no covering up to curry favor.

      For you and anyone else reading this, I should point out that I’ve personally approached RIOC, including Shelton directly, over the problem created by his now three-year media blackout. They’ve refused to answer or offer comment about developing stores. I’ve told them that their blackout virtually guarantees negative coverage because their side of the story never gets told. It’s beyond juvenile and foolish and a strategy that encourages worse coverage and that the public never gets to hear their side of the story.

      And yes, Shelton once gave me an explanation, but it was ludicrous.

      And I’ve made it clear that they can turn this around in a second if they want to. I’m not going to cover for them. Telling their story is their responsibility.

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