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Drunk fans at games


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I saw my first NHL game on Tuesday - it was the Oilers/Leafs game. Here's what I wrote in my Canucks blog on the experience. Has anyone else had an experience with drunk fans at a game?

As a (poor) student living in Saskatchewan, I've never had the opportunity to see an NHL game. In the few opportunities where I've been in Vancouver or Calgary, I've either been too busy to go or there haven't been any home games while I was there. So when my brother pitched the idea of going on a road trip with he and my Dad to Edmonton to watch the Oilers play the Leafs (they're both diehard Leafs fans), I was incredibly excited even though I knew I'd be really sore after a 5 hour trip there and back.

We got to Rexall Place around 6PM (an hour before game time). We toured the arena, got some food and watched the pre-game skate; all was well. About 10 minutes before game time, some 'overly enthusiastic' Leafs fans took their seats in the row in front of us. It was obvious from the moment they walked in that they were drunk. As the game started, they almost immediately began harassing other fans; some were Oilers fans, others were wearing jerseys for other teams. I didn't wear my Canucks jersey because I anticipated these things happening. Back to these fans; they had a pint of beer at each intermission to keep the 'adrenaline flowing'.

As the game progressed and the Leafs started racking up a healthy lead, there seemed to be a tipping point; they started swearing even more (it seemed to comprise over a third of their vocabulary), and would occasionally jump up during the play which made the people behind them mad because they couldn't see. Not wanting them to ruin our family trip, we ignored them. The same can't be said for everyone, though. With about three minutes left in the game, one fan beside us finally had enough and stood up to one of the guys, told them to 'sit down or he would make them sit down' (not the best choice of words). The guy immediately turned around with an 'oh yeah?' kind of face and punched the guy right in the nose. They tangled up while other fans tried to pull them apart. People and beer were flying in all directions, and it took security a solid 5 minutes to get there. The Oilers fan who confronted this Leafs fan had a pretty solid black eye after the whole ordeal. They only kicked the Leafs fan out (I hope he got arrested) because it was obvious that he was the aggressor in the situation.

I was talking to one of the event staff who said he had noticed the fan for most of the game and could have called a supervisor, but most of the security staff were busy breaking up other fights so it wouldn't have done much use. I don't doubt that those other fights involved situations that were similar to the one we experienced.

Whenever the Leafs or Habs play on the road, there are always a healthy contingent of fans that show up to the game (think Vancouver in Phoenix/LA/Anaheim). If they live in the area, it's probably the only time they will get to see them play all year. Add alcohol into the mix, and you're just asking for these things to happen. Arenas try to curtail this by not selling alcohol after the 2nd intermission, but I don't think it does much good. It's really unfortunate that teams have to sell alcohol to make money because it really takes away from the atmosphere.

So please, if you're going to show up drunk at a game, don't bother showing up at all.

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I've dealt with my fair share of drunk fans at Lions games over the years. Rider fans are usually the worst. I know with the Canucks and the Lions you can text a number anonymously and security will eventually show up. I would think they have that at all pro sports arena’s these days.

It's the safest way to go. Enough people text, security will come over and watch, and usually the drunks get kicked out.

You're right about cutting off sales after the 2nd. The true drinkers know the rules and will just power drink or stock up. I see it all the time. They really need better control at over serving people.

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You should see the state of some of the people who attend Celtic games. There's a huge drinking culture in Scotland so generally you get a lot of drunks at games. I don't see the point in it if you're not going to remember the game, but as long as they keep to themselves they generally don't bother me and often games are a lot of fun as over here we can actually create an atmosphere (no offence).

When they start being aggressive with other fans is when I have problems with them. The standing up in front of me I'm not bothered with personally as I prefer to stand during games and it gives me an excuse to do so. I had a wee ned threaten to spit on me at a game versus Spartak Moscow last year though, which really pissed me off. He got thrown out as he didn't even have a ticket.

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I've heard of the texting thing too but I don't recall ever seeing anything like that at the game. As for not wanting drunk people to show up, I guess I'm just frustrated at my experience. I feel like it contributes more negative things than positive. As far as Riders fans being drunk and rowdy, this doesn't surprise me; however I feel like if fans of other teams travelled in great numbers the same thing would happen.

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Yeah, I was at a Canucks game at Staples center last year and a bunch of drunk Canucks fans were acting that way,

It's really embarrassing and arenas should have a "Zero-tolerance for A-holes" policy.

Get as drunk and have as much fun as you want but as soon as you start negatively affecting others ability to enjoy the game, OUT YOU GO!

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The security and ushers at BC Place are the worst, not sure about Rogers Arena as I rarely attend games there. The ushers just stand there and hold up the wall. I saw someone complain to one that someone was in their seats and he said, 'just go ask them to move'. Huh?!? Remind me again why they pay you anything. By the time security gets to you, the situation is typically at a boiling point and tempers are flaring. I know its a big place but if you want the one-off fans to return, you had better help make their experience enjoyable. Sadly, Vancouver is full of drunk losers who go to games to be seen there or to get wasted and not actually care about the game or others enjoyment of the games. I have been a season ticket holder for the Lions for 3 seasons and I won't be returning mostly due to others ruining my enjoyment of the game.

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