How safe is it to be a fan at a football game? With emotions running high due to team loyalties, tense rivalries and alcohol consumption before and during the game, what seems like a fun sporting event can end in serious legal trouble.
Recently, three San Francisco 49ers fans were charged with felony assault for brutally beating a Minnesota Vikings fan after a Monday night game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
In 2014, Arizona police arrested two men on assault charges, and stadium security removed several others involved in the two fights that took place in the upper decks of the Cardinals stadium in Glendale.
While these incidents sometimes fly under the radar of stadium security, who can be overwhelmed by 70,000 screaming fans, others are taking notice.
An investigative report on stadium crimes by Seattle news station, KIRO-TV, reviewed approximately 10,000 incidents over two-and-a half seasons, finding hundreds of felony and misdemeanor crimes had occurred during this time.
KIRO-TV also revealed that the National Football League (NFL) keeps a detailed crime record for each stadium on game day, but doesn’t always share this record with police in hopes of protecting certain teams.
The NFL is reacting to growing awareness of violent fan crimes by facilitating communication between each franchise and local law enforcement and stadium security to focus on crowd safety, The Arizona Republic reports.
Currently, most NFL teams have a hotline fans can text to notify stadium officials of concerns and problems during a game, but is this enough to keep thousands of fans in line during a heated game?
Next time you’re watching your favorite team, be aware of escalating arguments, potential fights and drunk drivers.
Our attorneys know from experience that assault and DUI are common charges in Arizona after a big game or event.