Ban on Booze at Sporting Events?

“I can make anybody pretty…  I can make you believe any lie…I can make you pick a fight with somebody twice your size…”  So say the lyrics of Brad Paisley’s country hit Alcohol.  Why would I be including lyrics of a country song in a sports blog?  Great question.  This may in fact be the most unpopular post read by sports fans, but it asks a thought provoking question:  Should the selling and consumption of alcohol be banned at pro sporting events?

Now before you exit my blog and head to your favorite website, hear me out on this one.  Alcohol related brawls, injuries, and even deaths occur at professional sporting events worldwide.  Unfortunately, the four articles linked above are not the only on the internet.  If you were to run a search for “alcohol related injuries at sporting events” you would find page after page of results.  Can an individual attend a sporting event and drink alcohol within moderation?  Absolutely.  Can every individual that drinks at a sporting event drink alcohol within moderation?  Not a chance.  I beg to ask why someone would go to a game, pay $20-30 for a ticket, and then spend $40 to get him or herself inebriated beyond belief?  Even if it gives a temporary fix from everyday troubles, in the end it can cause harm and embarassment to the individual drinking, but it also can cause harm and frustration to other fans standing along side.  And the drunk individual may ACTUALLY RISK the possibility of missing an exciting moment in sports.  Imagine that – going to a sporting event for the sports and not the beer. 

Martin Luther King once said, “Nothing pains some people more than having to think”.  Though King may not have been specifically referencing alcohol in this quote, it does ask a valid question of those who choose to over-indulge in the booze, bevvy, juice, grog, or whatever you like to call it.  Some may say, “it depends on what over-indulge means”.  I’m not here to be relative, or to say that “words don’t have meaning”.  I think deep down we all know where the line is crossed.  And what about those individuals that feel this article is self-righteous and judgemental?  All I’m doing is asking a question due to observing the consequences that getting drunk can cause.  Sir Walter Scott said, “Of all vices, drinking is the most incompatible with greatness.”  Before I draw any further tangents or rabbit hills, let me get back to the issue at hand.  Should there be a complete ban on alcohol at sporting events?  Here is why I am asking the question:

At sporting events, people who drink too much get drunk.  Being drunk can cause irrational behavior.  Irrational behavior for the most part causes discomfort and frustration among non-drunk fans.  Irrational behavior can also cause brawls which can cause injury or death.  Get the point?  Now would I seriously be debating whether or not to remove alchohol at pro sporting events?  Reality might suggest this would be impossible to do.  Besides the high volume of alcohol brand-named stadiums, (Miller Park, Busch Stadium, Coors Field, etc)  alcohol is one of the best selling items at an arena during a sporting event.  Just check the local vendor’s $6.75 price for beer and you’ll agree with me.  But, are there greater limits that can be taken to prevent the fans from becoming drunk?  On the Miami Dolphin website it states that there is a “two drink maximum per person per visit to our concession stands”.  In my opinion this still causes limited accountability.  “Joe Six Pack” may be drunk, and so his friend may go and get a drink for him, knowing that a drunk person cannot get a beer.  What about kicking out all fans who are drunk from sporting events?  I suppose this could be done, but where will the drunkard go after he or she gets kicked off?  If they drove, they’ll probably get in the car and try to drive home.

I am at a loss for words…  I do not know what the alcohol policy should be at pro stadiums.  Asking for a total ban might be unrealistic.  But asking for each individual to take responsibility would be too (since some people dont know what the word accountability means)…  I’ll leave it to the reader of this blog to tell me – what do YOU think?





4 Responses to “Ban on Booze at Sporting Events?”

  1. I’m with you on this one, Nate. Being a former drinker myself, the opportunity to drink is often all that is required for some people to get absolutely tanked. The idea of drinking at a sportig event has somehow gotten stashed under the “Things You Just Do” category, even though, as you pointed out, it completely undermines the reason for being there in the first place.

    Too many times to count have I walked out of a stadium smelling of stale beer, having to slog back to my car in beer soaked shoes, because some wingnut sitting behind me lost control of his 18th beer in the seventh inning and dumped it on me – or behind my seat.

    Too many times have I left a college football game reeking of Old No. 7 and Coke because some 19 year-old got tanked in the parking lot prior to the game, had to be fireman-carried into the stadium by his buddies, and had three or four bags of whiskey duct taped to the inside of his thighs so he could dump it into his stadium Coke and get even more plowed – to the point of hitting on his own mother.

    You wanna get tanked at a ballgame? Great – do it in the parking lot, the local sports “grill,” or, even better, in the comfort of your own home. But it shouldn’t be sold in stadiums. Period.

    And while we’re at it, can we get a ban on topless men over 275-lbs? That’s just wrong on a whole ‘nother level…

  2. A lot of what both of you are railing against is already banned. I would imagine most alcohol related incidents at sporting events are not the result of someone buying the beer at the stadium, particularly because there isn’t a stadium in the u.s. that’ll sell you a beer if you’re stumbling up to the vendor.

    I say leave the beer alone, and simply enforce the rules for people who are belligerent. Making up new rules isn’t going to do anything to stop the people who aren’t following the rules to begin with.

  3. twonateshow Says:

    Gavette, your comment made me think of a group I didn’t talk about – those that bring flasks (and other containers) filled with alchohol into the stadium. They may need to strictly enforce 2 different groups:
    A) Those that smuggle in alchohol into stadiums (which would be very hard to do)
    b) Not allow those that appear drunk access into the stadium in the first place (which to me makes sense)

  4. I appreciate the “joe six pack” reference.

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