I’ve gone to plenty of sporting events in my lifetime, and while there I’ve had my fair share of beer as well. Why there were even times when I was able to buy beer at a football game before I even turned 21 years old. I would just ask the vendor as he walked by for a beer, and he’d send me one as I sent him my money, and he’d never ask for my I.D.
At first I thought it was just because I have gray hair and facial hair, so I looked older. Apparently, though, my success at buying beer while underage wasn’t something that was as rare an occurence as I thought at the time though. A recent study shows that it’s a lot easier for underage drinkers to buy beer at stadiums than you think.
Actors posing as drunken sports fans successfully bought alcohol from U.S. stadium vendors almost nine out of 10 tries, according to a University of Minnesota study.
College students who appeared younger than 21, the legal U.S. drinking age, also bought alcohol up to 30 percent of the time without being asked for proof of their age, said the study of 16 sports stadiums and arenas that are home to professional football, basketball, baseball and hockey teams across the U.S. The study is published in the next issue of the journal Alcohol: Clinical & Experimental Research.
Alcohol has been blamed for fueling sports fans’ rowdiness, and the National Football League two weeks ago banned spectator drunkenness and unruly behavior. The study shows stadiums need to do more to prevent alcohol sales to drunken and underage fans, said the study’s author, Traci Toomey, associate professor at the university’s school of public health in Minneapolis.
In case you 18-year-olds out there are planning on going to a baseball game tonight, try buying your beer from a vendor in the seats, not the concession stands. The study showed that you’re more likely to get a beer from them than you will on the concourse. Something about beer vendors being under pressure to get the transaction done so they aren’t blocking the view of everybody else in the seats. Plus, even if they do card you, it’s nothing that a healthy tip can’t correct.
Unfortunately, what the study didn’t tell us was which stadiums they did these tests at. So I guess you’re just going to have to go to all of them.