October 18, 2007

The Journal on the Fans

American sports have a huge drunken-asshole problem; this is undeniable. Anyone who's been to a major sporting event in recent years can tell you that. (Unless, of course, the game was in Florida, Atlanta or Arizona; those cities tend to have a "no one at the games" problem.)

Mark Yost, on the Wall Street Journal editorial page, tackles the problem- in, shall we say, typical, class-warfare-in-favor-of-the-rich WSJ editorial-page style:

Personal seat licenses and premium seating tend to price out some of the thugs. Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium was long considered the worst in the league for fan behavior. Cops used to walk through the stands in visiting team jerseys to bait thugs who preyed on visiting fans. Things were so bad that there was a courtroom right in the stadium to arraign the worst offenders. Things have gotten better since the Eagles moved in 2003 to Lincoln Financial Field, which has new luxury suites and nearly 11,000 Club seats that cost $800 or more a game. "The more expensive the experience, the less inclined fans are to ruin it," said Houston's Mr. Rootes.
If you've been to a game at the Linc, who know that the luxury suites haven't solved the problem. There's still fights galore, plentiful drunkenness, and everything else. Then again, I've never been urinated on, so I suppose it's different from the vet.

Still, though, Yost's solution to the violence and thuggery problems seems to be not allowing the poor into the stadium at all. Here's my favorite part:

In Buffalo, the unruly behavior often spills over into the luxury suites, prompting Mr. Clark to post guards outside each one. "Fans would just walk in and use the bathroom," said Bills suite-holder Ed Shill. "In the warm weather, when the windows were open, they'd dive in and grab food and beer. In the winter, when it's 20-below outside and we're in our shirtsleeves drinking hot chocolate, they'd throw things at the windows and give us the finger."
Common folk invading our luxury boxes? It's every WSJ Editorial Board member's worst nightmare!

This sentence, though, is sort of comical:

The Twins fans come in and have one or two beers," said Marty Neumann, manager of The Little Wagon, a sports bar near Minneapolis's Metrodome. "The Vikings fans come in and have 10."
Who knew there was a pregame bar scene near the Dome?

Posted by Stephen Silver at October 18, 2007 05:12 PM
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