Venue Parking Lots Get More Scrutiny

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Below is a news summary by Ashley Dean, an Entertainment Management student at Missouri State University.

(from Sports Business Journal, November 21) The safety of fans at NFL and MLB games is a top priority. Safety is not only important inside the facility, but outside in the parking lots as well. California has recently had numerous accounts of violence in their stadiums and action has been taken to prevent more from taking place.

On November 10, at an NFL game in San Diego, there were two assaults and a stabbing recorded for the night. This is just one example of violence in parking lots. During a preseason game, two shootings were reported in the parking lot at Candlestick Park, and a man was severely beaten at Dodger Stadium. It is common in California venues for violence to take place, especially when alcohol is involved.

Many California teams are taking preventative action in regards to tailgating violence. The recent Fan Code of Conduct program rolled out to inform fans of the proper way to act inside the stadium and towards opposing fans. The NFL has begun working with different security firms, city law enforcement, and the Raiders to promote positive aid. Rather than just having police around the area, they have been walking or riding in pairs through the tailgaters to ensure safety. If people are drinking large amounts of beer through a bong, or playing an excessive drinking game, warnings are given out describing the events that can develop. Many other stadiums are following this trend as well. The San Francisco 49ers have issued a no tailgating after kickoff policy. Steve Weakland, a spokesperson for the 49ers, said that fans must enter the stadium or leave the parking lot once kickoff takes place. Another incentive that the 49ers have given fans is known as an “Early Fan of the Game” deal where food vouchers and seat upgrades are given to those who enter the stadium early.

Not only is security an effective way to prevent violence in the stadiums, but first aid tents are becoming popular as well. The 49ers have a tent full of volunteers, known as the Rock Med tent, who help in the aid of intoxicated fans. This is good for the city as well, because it prevents the burden of overcrowding jails and more work on the police.