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Are You Not Attending Games Because the Fans Around You Are Unruly?

I wasn’t able to attend an NFL game this year as I have in the past, but in talking to those of my friends who have attended games, they are losing interest in going simply because of the fans they have to sit near. 

Allison Joyce, Getty Images

In listening to my friends, their complaint is that fans are becoming obnoxious with their actions and their language. This is a trend that I had been noticing in recent years when I did attend games. It is not only football, either, but football fans seem to be the biggest problem.

Why is this happening? There are several reasons. One is that the times we live in are changing and the morals of people are declining.  A major reason in my estimation is the extensive tailgating that goes on prior to games. Some of these football fans have been in the parking lot 5 or 6 hours drinking prior to kickoff and are definitely over the legal limit to drive, but not to attend the game. After drinking several hours prior to kickoff would you expect them to be quiet and restrained during the game? I don’t think so. And they are not.

For instance, according to Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal (Nov. 19, 2012 edition) ejections at NFL games rose 7 percent to 3,520 in 2012. Meanwhile, arrests were up 19 percent, to 453 in 2012 at NFL stadiums at the midway point of the 2012 season. Those numbers translate to about 27 ejections and three arrests per game. In San Francisco, at the 49ers last home game this season, 81 fans were ejected most for public intoxication, according to Time Magazine (January 13 edition).

So what can be done to reverse this trend? The NFL needs to take a real hard look at the tailgating that goes on at stadiums. I would not want to see tailgating go away, just curbed.  Instead of opening the parking areas hours prior to a game, why not control the amount of time people can be in the parking lots? To me it makes sense.

People want to have fun and tailgating is a part of the event but people also want to enjoy their time in the stadium watching the game and not have to deal with unruly fans around them. It is time the NFL deals with this issue before no one shows up to watch the games.

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