When Will Our Sports Teams Ban Fans For Life?

Friday night I went to Dodgers-Cubs at Dodger Stadium. I had four choice seats, thanks to Barry, but only ended up using three. I’d hoped to convince a diehard Cubs fan I knew to go, but he repeatedly refused, citing several bad experiences at Chavez Ravine. (He went to Cubs-Padres at Petco instead.)

Bloody Soccer Fan

(MLB/NFL/NBA: Don’t want this to happen? Then do something now)

Obviously I quizzed the guy on what happened, and he said the last time he went to Dodger Stadium his dad had a beer dumped on him by a drunken, loudmouth lout - and ballpark security did nothing. (Yeah, I know Victorino/Phils fans, your heart bleeds …)

So with that rattling around my headhole Friday, I can’t say I was surprised to notice an inordinate number of unruly fan-generated incidents. Indeed, after the first three innings, it seemed like every 20 minutes the jackass rodeo commenced - usually somewhere in the vicinity of Mannywood. I’ve been to dozens of Dodger games over my 10 years in L.A., and I never remember seeing so many booze-fueled episodes in one night. But to be fair, perhaps it was only because I was really paying attention this time.

In defense of the Dodgers, there was a massive, uniformed security presence at the game - along with plentiful plain-clothed police officers. But there was so much security that you kind of said to yourself, is this a baseball game or Lakers postgame celebration? Three weeks ago I was at Yankees-Red Sox at Yankee Stadium and didn’t see nearly the security presence that I saw at Dodger Stadium.

The upturn in fan violence at Dodger Stadium has been well-chronicled over the past few years. Two murders and multiple stabbings since 2003 will do that. But there’s been no talk of a wholesale ban of bad acts being prevented from buying tickets to Dodger games in the future. In these rough economic times, it might be a little unrealistic to expect pro sports teams to start profiling ticket buyers. That said, if the off-field turbulence at Dodger Stadium gets much worse, the McCourts are going to do have to do something. Read more…