FanDuel - WFBC

January 19, 2011

8% of Fans Leave Sporting Events Legally Drunk: Nearly 8 percent of fans leaving sporting events are legally drunk, according to a new University of Minnesota study of 362 fans at 16 Major League Baseball and NFL games. "[T]housands of people from each game could be leaving these venues intoxicated," said Dr. Darin J. Erickson, the lead researcher. "Given that intoxication can lead to a host of negative consequences, such as drunk driving, assault and injury, this is clearly a public health issue."

posted by rcade to general at 02:46 PM - 23 comments

I actually thought the number would be higher given that legally drunk is typically .08 (or lower). I would bet in some venues the number of intoxicated fans is higher.

posted by kcfan4life at 02:20 PM on January 19

Now, I'm not a statistician, nor am I suggesting that their results are necessarily inaccurate (although like kcfan4life, I probably would have guessed higher), but the sample size was 362 people at 16 games?! What did they do, stand up in their seats and give a breathalyzer to everyone they could reach?

posted by bender at 02:29 PM on January 19

Yeah, I'm surprised it isn't higher. I think 8% isn't too bad, so long as they are also passengers on their way home. It doesn't seem to be a number high enough to warrant rethinking beer being served at games.

posted by bperk at 02:29 PM on January 19

At Ralph Wilson Stadium after a Bills game, I'm thinking the number of fans who leave a game legally sober is around 8 percent.

posted by dyams at 02:30 PM on January 19

I would like to know the % of fans that enter the game sober. I think more people tend to get hammered tailgating so they dont have to drop $8 a beer inside.

posted by Debo270 at 02:56 PM on January 19

I just always figured that at any given time in any given place, at least 8% of the populace is drunk. Is there any more rational way to explain humanity?

posted by Ufez Jones at 04:07 PM on January 19

At Ralph Wilson Stadium after a Bills game, I'm thinking the number of fans who leave a game legally sober is around 8 percent

Which is below average for any group in Buffalo. I guess there must be a lot of teetotalers in the good seats, because I've yet to be at a game that wasn't marred by some drunk amusing himself. They must be counting kids in the numbers.

posted by yerfatma at 04:26 PM on January 19

"Given that intoxication can lead to a host of negative consequences, such as drunk driving, assault and injury, this is clearly a public health issue."

Not quite sure about the logic there. It's kind of like saying that "since driving leads to auto accidents, driving is clearly a public health issue." It's just really alarmist without more data. What percentage of that 8% is driving, prone to violence, etc.? In many cities, there is no need to drive anywhere, so getting shithammered at the game is not going to lead to a drunk driving incident. I can think of a few visits to AT&T park when I had more than my share and happily stumbled back to my hotel across town in twenty minutes. As far as incidents of assault, I understand that alcohol contributes to quite a bit of violence, but sober people engage in their fair share, too.

I'm sure that this study could have some relevance as a preliminary stage of a greater one that studies other factors, but in and of itself it doesn't say much. Except of course that an overwhelming majority of Americans can go to a game and have a good time without overdoing it.

posted by tahoemoj at 05:04 PM on January 19

I would agree with Debo in that 8% seems low for fans entering a typical game legally drunk, certainly has to be higher at football games.

While young kids count for a substantial number of fans at some games, even if they were 50% of the crowd, it would still only be 16% of the adults legally drunk.

My favorite comment listed on the link appears to have come from cjets...Listen I am a Jets fan, and its my God given right to be drunk, loud and stupid. I will just walk to the games..By the way..we come in a bus with 20 drunken idiots plus one recovered drunk --who happens to be a priest.. So was that covered in the survey.. That we have a sober idiot driving us home.

posted by dviking at 05:12 PM on January 19

At Ralph Wilson Stadium after a Bills game, I'm thinking the number of fans who leave a game legally sober is around 8 percent

I once followed a car out of the parking lot whose roof was stacked two cases high with empties. The police were kind enough to wave them into the flow of traffic.

posted by fabulon7 at 05:36 PM on January 19

Percentage of fans entering game drunk: 25%.

So that means that 17% sober up during the three hours it takes to play the game, 7% stay smashed all the way through, and 1% actually get smashed at the game.

Yes, I pulled those statistics out of my ass like most of these studies seem to do anyway.

posted by graymatters at 06:11 PM on January 19

I can't wait for the study on college football games.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:30 PM on January 19

YEAH! So I... So I say to the guy, I don no about no drink studying, but I put my sandwish down here somwhere, and J-E-T-S, JETS! JESTS JESTS! and as fer yor grandmother - she shouldnt have mouthed off like that.

Donworry my buddies wife is pcking us up.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:51 PM on January 19

I like the term "legally drunk".

Because I'm glad the law cares.

posted by owlhouse at 09:17 PM on January 19

I like the term "legally drunk".

Wonder how drunk you have to be to be considered "illegally drunk."

posted by graymatters at 09:52 PM on January 19

At The Meadowlands where the Giants and Jets play its definetly higher. I use to share season tickets for the Jets but cancelled due to the drunkeness at the games. The last time I went to a game, 5 minutes into the game a guy walking up the stairs stopped next to ours seats and threw up on the steps. A couple of minutes later he walked back to his seat with another beer. Give me the couch and high def.

posted by MGDADDYO at 09:53 PM on January 19

Listen I am a Jets fan, and its my God given right to be drunk, loud and stupid. I will just walk to the games..By the way..we come in a bus with 20 drunken idiots plus one recovered drunk --who happens to be a priest.. So was that covered in the survey.. That we have a sober idiot driving us home.

I've been on that bus.

posted by cjets at 11:18 PM on January 19

Yes, I pulled those statistics out of my ass like most of these studies seem to do anyway

Did you know that 83% of statistics are made up on the spot.

posted by Debo270 at 10:18 AM on January 20

I just always figured that at any given time in any given place, at least 8% of the populace is drunk. Is there any more rational way to explain humanity?

Fetal alcohol syndrome, maybe?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:51 AM on January 20

I'm 8% drunk right now.

posted by kirkaracha at 02:28 PM on January 20

In related news, 8% of the audience at a recent Phish show were "tripping balls", 23% reported being "high as fuck", and 4% were said to be "off their face" but unable to articulate what intoxicants they had ingested.

Across town at the My Chemical Romance show, 12% of the crowd self-reported as being "sad".

posted by BitterOldPunk at 02:17 AM on January 21

I always love these things. .08 is too impaired to run heavy equipment like a car or a backhoe. That's hardly the point where people start puking on the steps and yelling "You think you're better'n me?" Too drunk to drive and drunk enough to be a public health issue are entirely different things, but studies like this tend to conflate them. (You like that? Conflate? I don't get to use it much on a sports forum.)

posted by gradioc at 05:30 PM on January 21

Ninety nine per cent of Derby County fans regularly report feeling disappointed when leaving games.

posted by owlhouse at 01:44 AM on January 22

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