Stadium Alcohol Management: A Best Practices Approach

Richard Filce, Stacey A. Hall & Dennis Phillips

Year: 2016 Volume: 21 Issue: c

Pages: 48-65

Abstract: Sport managers have expressed the concern that the largest threat to fan safety emanates from alcohol overuse. A Turnkey Sports & Entertainment (2009) study asked 1,100 senior sport executives in the United States to rank various threats to fan safety. Alcohol abuse by unruly fans was listed by 62% of respondents, easily outpacing the next highest response of terrorism (18.73%). Previous studies have also identified an increase in violence and criminal activity relating to alcohol consumption at sporting events (Erickson et al., 2011; Menaker & Chaney, 2014). Intoxicated fans have been the source of numerous documented tort claims against vendors and facility owners (Bearman, 1983; Verni, 2006). Despite the known tort liability risk, administrators continue to make decisions without real evidence due to a lack of literature on alcohol policies at sporting events (Oster-Aaland & Neighbors, 2007). This paper will document the problems associated with alcohol consumption at sporting events, review current alcohol policies and barriers to the implementation of stricter policies, and conclude with research-based suggestions for best practices in stadium alcohol management relative to: policy and training, sales and marketing, tailgating, and detection and enforcement.