Alcohol and Sports

When college students and adults drink irresponsibly, they often create negative associations with alcohol and its hindering effects. Alcohol is a constituent of various recreational and other events in the United States. It is available at a wide range of public sporting events and often is the central focus of celebrations of success and achievement. Unfortunately, as well as contributing to relaxation and conviviality, alcohol is also associated with verbal and physical abuse, arrests for aggressive behavior and violence and admissions to hospitals as a consequence of alcohol related assaults.

These concluding aspects have recently been raised in sport broadcasting and news nationwide. This initiates problems such as violence, public urination, or people collapsing as a consequence of excessive drinking. Facility management programs have made proper precautions regarding such events. These problems are not a new phenomena in the world of sports. In an attempt to contain violence, more facilities and leagues have taken action to control and remove the availability of alcohol at such events.

After considerable research, there seems to be a repetition of facility management aspects used in everyday sporting events, such as the TEAM and FAM organizational programs, specific “pre” and “post” game provisions, and actions regarding “in-game” incidents. There are many alcohol management strategies that facilities and programs have developed over the past two decades. Almost every professional sport team and facility follows the grand design of the non-profit organization called Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management.

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FAM further assists to public arenas in developing alcohol management. Furthermore, TEAM puts a strong emphasis on their 300 trainers who in turn train more than 30,000 sport facility employees. Training is a very important component involved in enhancing the awareness of staff. This regards factors that contribute to aggression and strategies to defuse potentially dangerous situations and legal issues regarding the proper management of venues. Hence, giving the staff an understanding of strategies to manage alcohol aggression on licensed premises.

Planning is one of the most important features of alcohol management within a facility. An appropriate location of an event should always be selected with easy access to transport to and from the venue. Many sport facilities have restrictions or bans on alcohol brought into the venue, as well as restrictions on the type of containers brought into the venue. Alcohol is a great source of revenue for sport leagues and arenas. Facility organizers may also be unwilling to set up alcohol-free events because it is such a main attraction during game-play.

More than 60% of professional sporting event revenues come from alcohol purchases (Class Video). Another important example of alcohol management planning is making sure to provide information before and during the event. This should include risks, regulations, requirements and controls. Sometimes the lack of information about strict alcohol polices can result in fans arriving unprepared, either not bringing enough money to purchase alcohol inside the venue or spending it before entry.

There has been precaution involving the amount of alcohol served at sporting and large public events. Severity of alcohol problems can be related to length of a game, whether or not it is a playoff game or even if the game is an exciting one or not (Class Discussion). Facility managers and staff must take into consideration those key features of a game in order to prepare for alcohol related incidents. Facilities set restricted times for serving alcohol, including set period before the end of the event, where alcohol is no longer served..

There have been proper preparations for regulating the sale of alcohol on premises within the grounds, particularly the times at which alcohol could be served. This allows for sobering up of patrons and reduced likelihood of drunk driving and other issues. This can be in between an inning, or at halftime. For example, most baseball games stop serving alcohol at the end of the 7th inning in order to maintain the crowd. Having a limited amount of alcohol served to each fan is another way a facility can avoid issues. Concession stands should only be serving 1 drink per customer.

Most sporting facilities have kept this under control but staff members working the beverage stands have let this slide and provided more than 1 drink per customer. Server staff selection and training is very important, although evidence shows that enforcement needs to accompany this in order to ensure its effectiveness. Security staff and police officers have been a vital part of alcohol facility management over the past decade. During preparation for games and large sporting events, security takes measures to properly secure a facility for intended alcohol related use.

Many facilities have implemented a range of strategies to reduce risks such as segregation of opposing fans or higher levels of policing. If there were safety concerns, security is granted authority to search public vehicles and individuals trying to enter an event with alcoholic beverages. It is important for the police force to try and maintain a crowd during the tailgating portion of an event. This is where the sot excessive drinking takes place. An example of a facility security measure involves video surveillance at the Milwaukee Brewers’ stadium.

In the article Drinking Games, it states that “most parks now include video surveillance equipment that can home in on specific seat locations, but beer hawkers, concessions-stand workers and ushers equipped only with their own eyes are also relied upon to recognize the tell-tale signs of intoxication, or in some cases the mere probability of intoxication. ” The security staff and police presence should be visible and have a clear view of the area around them. Also, they should have the authority to ban or remove fans for public displays of drunken behavior.

Facility managers take into consideration the importance of harm reduction. Some arenas have been setting up “dry areas” or family areas to reduce risk and nuisance, especially for families and young people. Also, alcohol served in a tempered glass or plastic and foam cups help reduce the likelihood of containers being used as weapons, and to prevent accidental or deliberate injury to staff and fans on the licensed premises. In Europe, they have “sobering-up” areas which act as a very valuable strategy (Study Abroad experience 2011).

There was minimal effectiveness but it may enable management of those who are overly intoxicated. Traffic management should be something planned before, during and after a sport game. After games, there are security checkpoints where drivers are checked for intoxication or any alcoholic beverages in their possession. This is where many people are arrested for DUI’s and drunkenly misconduct. When looking at the alcohol management regarding Madison Square Garden, there seem to be procedures and provisions similar to the ones listen previously in this research paper.

At most of the events at MSG, alcoholic beverages are available for purchase. They train their staff within the terms of the TEAM organization. Alcohol sales are limited to up to two alcoholic beverages per customer per transaction and must provide an ID with purchase. MSG makes sure that guests do not bring in alcoholic beverages from outside vendors, and cannot leave with beverages purchased inside the arena. The last part of their alcohol management statement deals with management reserving the right to refuse the sale of alcohol to any guest (MSG. com).

While there have been significant sport broadcasting about alcohol related harm at various professional and collegiate sporting events, there is little direct evidence to guide quality practice of such events. Nevertheless, there are a range of strategies that can be generalized from the mainstream research on reducing alcohol related incidents and strategies that have unpretentious biases. This relationship is a complex one, it arises from our interactions among various factors relating to the American culture, our drinking venues and the individual.

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