Sports Spectator Dangers and Safety
The admission of the public to sporting events has a number of benefits for spectators and sports venues. Spectators can enjoy the excitement of seeing the action in person and participating in the group activity of spectating, being with like-minded individuals that are all cheering for the same team. There is a sense of belonging in being part of the crowd, and as Wann, Martin, Grieve, and Gardner (2008) report, there is even a "social psychological well-being" that is positively associated with sport team identification, or "psychological connections with a sport team." Sports venues can make tremendous amounts of money, not only through ticket sales but also through the sales of snacks, beverages, programs, parking fees, and souvenirs. This mutually beneficial arrangement assumes, however, that spectators will behave appropriately and that the venues are safe for fans. This is not always the case. Lefterhof (2005) acknowledges, "In a civilized society, it is surprising that we often tolerate the uncivilized behavior that is consistently exhibited at sporting events" (p. 119). These behaviors include not only excessive consumption of alcohol and the use of offensive language but also criminal acts such as battery and disorderly conduct (Lefterhof, 2005, p. 119). Spectator violence, a lack of safeguards at the stadium, and risky spectator behavior can result in injury and death for spectators in a venu
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