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Friday, April 8, 2011

Giants Fans Always Treats Dodgers Fans with Respect - Violence is Wrong

Today is the big day in San Francisco, the first home game as champs at AT&T Park! The weather is gorgeous and the next three days will be filled of awards and praise from the fans.

However, out of all this excitement, Bryan Stow is in the hospital with possible brain damage after a Dodgers fan at Dodgers Stadium decided to assault him. If you are going to game on April 11th, there will be a donation collection effort as his medical bills will likely be expensive and his recovery effort will be a long road ahead. I'm hopeful for a quick recovery and swift justice to those who hurt him.

With this in mind, next week is the big rivalry of the Giants vs. Dodgers at AT&T Park. Let's show how us Giants fans treat Dodger fans, both sides joke and yell at each other for fun, but us Giants fans respect them by not committing violence and anti-social behavior that would not be tolerated by most fans.

Being a fan of baseball, I find AT&T Park to be a very safe environment with many uniformed police officers and staff at every section keeping an eye on the crowds. In instances where fans are out of control, the police arrive quickly to resolve and eject fans. Even after the games, I feel safe leaving the park and riding the metro, even if we played against a big team rival.


I want to share with you one instance when I didn't feel safe and others around me were also very uncomfortable. Last week, I attended the preseason game at AT&T Park against the A's and around the seventh inning, five young people sat behind me. Their breath was strong with alcohol and could be smelt rows away. Things really got bad when they started swearing and was even worse because there were very young children sitting next to me on my right.

Everyone started asking the drunk and unruly fans to stop cussing, and they started threatening physical violence on those who asked them to stop (example: Threatening to slap a fan). I even got spat upon by one of them, but being that I was just in front of them and an easy enough to get assaulted, I didn't want to confront them in fear of my own safety.

They eventually left the area.


I feel one thing all ballparks should consider doing is to curb or severely limit alcohol sales. A lot of the problems with unruly fans is the booze flowing from the taps of the concession stands. I can understand that the ballparks and their vendors are getting rich off expensive cups of beer, but causing a fan to have brain damage after being assaulted by an allegedly drunk and belligerent fan is not worth it.

The general rule about selling alcohol is if the person is intoxicated, the server is not supposed to give the patron the beverage. The one big problem at AT&T Park is many of the concession stands are operated by people who have those temporary badges as they are part of an organization or fraternity/sorority who gets fundraising money in exchange for working the concession stands. From the looks of it, they don't get much training, and I'm not exactly sure they are skilled enough to identify fans who had too much to drink.

Be safe out there and enjoy your weekend.


Anonymous said...

Recently, a man pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter related to a 2008 incident at AT&T Park where an 18 year old was killed. I don't know if alcohol was involved.

Regarding your incident, why didn't you or anyone else get security? Especially after being spat upon.

Given how many children attend sporting events and how the vast majority of disturbances are alcohol related, I've long believed that alcohol should be banned from sporting events. Many drunken spectators have ruined my experiences at Giants, A's and 49'ers games. Strangely, it's never happened at a Warriors game. I've never been to a Raiders or Sharks game.

However, that is a pipe dream. Too much money is made selling alcohol at sporting events. As long as alcohol sales exceeds insurance costs, no sports team would consider banning alcohol.

The next best option would be to have alcohol free sections of the stadiums and arenas - no alcohol sold, consumed or allowed in the sections. Presumably the ticket price would be higher than the other sections to make up for the loss of beverage sales. Higher prices would give an incentive for fans in those sections to quickly report drunken behavior since they paid a premium to sit in a "drunk-free" zone.

Bob S said...

I was at the afternoon pre-season A's-Giants game at AT&T Park. Before the game, one of the announcements mentioned that if you have a security problem, you can send a text message to security with your seat location. (Of course, you can also get up and find an usher.) The problem is whether you fear retaliation for reporting the people.

Akit said...

I went to the pre-season night game at AT&T and they didn't mention anything about the texting system for security.

Bob S said...

Here's a description of how to send a text-message regarding security problems at AT&T Park:

'Now in its third year, Giants fans can send anonymous messages to ballpark security for a two-way conversation. Simply text "80899" followed by "security" in the body of the text, then your seat number (or area of concern) and a detailed message about the problem.'