(from Sports Business Journal, November 19, 2012) In the world of football there are many reasons that people love the game. For some it’s the players and the plays created by greatness, and some enjoy the game from home and make it an opportunity to gather great friends and great food. For others, however, it’s all about the experience. Going to a professional football games is something that most people want to experience and something many will never forget. As of recently, fan ejections have been a growing trend.
At the seasons midpoint, with roughly 130 games played, fan ejections has rose 7% to 3520 since 2011. Arrests were up 19% to 453, which equals about 27 ejections per game. It should be noted that had many of these ejections not been from smoking bans, especially in Oakland, the number of ejections would have decreased from 2011. League and team officials see this change as a positive one and agree that its evidence that clubs are cracking down on poor fan behavior. Jeff Miller, NFL head of security said, “This is part of a pretty positive trend. Clubs have more ejections or arrests because they are committed to enforcing fan codes of conduct.” He also pointed to text message services in stadiums as a big factor in helping teams. Leonard Bonacci, the Eagles vice president of events also commented in regards to text message services saying, “Fans now have an outlet to immediately report if someone is eroding the quality of their experience.”
With the NFL and clubs further developing their codes of conduct for fans and ejections on the rise it’s clear to see that the typical unruly fan will no longer be tolerated. For some fans, especially those with reputations for being difficult for other teams visiting, this change may be a difficult one. However, for some, like those with children it may be a way for the NFL to bring in more ticket sales and increase the fan experience.