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Readers react to article on drunken rowdiness at Dodger games

October 15, 2008 |  6:43 pm

A front-page article today by Times staff writer Paul Pringle detailed how, even as the Dodgers are celebrating this season's trip to the National League Championship Series, there is a perceived rise in booze-fueled hooliganism, a problem that team spokesman Charles Steinberg conceded "is not solved." Readers responded:

I just read your page 1 story about Dodger Stadium.  My wife and I were at the game on Sunday, sitting in the field level near the left field foul pole.  I note that your story did not mention that shortly after the game, a man fell from an upper level onto the field level, and was quickly taken away on a stretcher.  I imagine that the blood will be cleaned up before the game tonight.

-- Jack Lipton

It is about time that someone wrote an article about this topic that you did, today. I stopped taking my family to Dodger Stadium about 5 years ago due to (bored former Raider fans?), shaved-headed males in Dodger jerseys, cussing, starting fights, spewing filthy language, throwing beer cups like missiles, etc, etc.  Now, I'm sure it's still OK in the expensive seats but with a wife and kids, those aren't an option. What is an option is the family section pavilion at Angel Stadium and the family friendly atmosphere and the 'zero tolerance' for troublemakers. I still follow the Dodgers on TV and root for them but I go to Angel games now, 5-6 times per year.

-- Scott James

I have been going to Dodger games since the 1970s off and on. I had not been in many years but having 3 boys felt that we should all go as a family and attended Sunday night’s game. YIKES!  We bought our tickets last minute on Craigslist and sat unknowingly in the "Manny" section off the third base line....NEVER AGAIN. I have never seen such rude (and I am not a prude), disrespectful and appalling behavior. The entire section never sat down. It was truly miserable.  Your article rang true. I will only go to another Dodger game if I am given VIP tickets. Thanks for the reporting.

-- Teri Hawkins

Great article.  Long overdue.  I have been a season ticket holder since the stadium opened behind home plate on the field level, and the Dodgers have done much better in recent years to control the situation.  There are still the occasional fans who believe that profane

language is the only way to express enthusiasm.  This year however, in the remodeling of the concourse, the Dodgers added more stations for beer and hard liquor making it easier for those inclined to get "tanked" faster.  So when the Dodgers say they are concerned, are they speaking with a "forked tongue"?  I would imagine that the beer and hard liquor sales in this year have greatly increased over the past years.

-- Ronald Rosenfeld

Very good and fair article. I grew up in the Philadelphia area and am a lifelong Phillies fan.  My wife (she's from Texas) and I attended Monday's game with my brother and his wife.  He's a police officer in an LA suburb and was out of uniform.  We were seated in section 27 field level. It was my first time at Dodger Stadium and I wore a Phillies hat and shirt as did my wife.  My brother and sister-in-law are Angels fans, dressed in street clothes and were cheering for the Phils.

We felt perfectly comfortable when we arrived and received, not unexpected, seemingly good natured ribbing from the folks around us. We're all pretty out going so we gave it back in a friendly way, had some Dodger Dogs, and settled in with the rest of the fans for the game.

As you know the first inning went well for the Dodgers and the tone quickly changed from amicable ribbing to mean and profane.  Let me be absolutely clear that most fans left us alone and as you noted in your article it was a problem minority, but a vocal and somewhat frightening minority.

When the three-run triple dropped late in the first, the man seated next to me jumped up, slammed his open palm down on my shoulder and screamed at me that we "were going down". I turned to him and motioned with both hands to basically calm down. He gave me a come-on-I'm-just-having-fun look and actually did back off.  Two couples seated immediately in front of us somehow noticed what was going on, and started in on me about how "this was not my house" etc.

To make a long ugly story short, it got worse from there.  The more the knuckleheads in front of us had to drink, the more abusive and profane they became. It finally ended when my brother, the cop, told the guy directly in front of him to knock it off. That guy took exception, stood up, got into my brother's face, my brother got up, didn't back off (my brother is six-two, 220 and all muscle, and as noted several times, a cop) and shouting match ensued, which was broken up by two security people who handled the whole situation beautifully.

The "people" in front of us left us alone the rest of the game and numerous Dodger fans around us were apologetic, sympathetic, and made an unnecessarily tense situation much less so.  I exchanged views on the game with the guy next to me (who jumped on me early on) without further incident and we shook hands and wished each others teams luck as we left in the eighth inning.

I wish I could say "thank you" to the majority of the Dodger fans who were good decent folks who were just doing what we were trying to do, enjoy a baseball game and root for our team. They were great. But the others simply ruined the experience for us. My wife was amazed at how ugly it got and she was frightened.  She told me later she was glad we went to the game that the Phillies lost.  At least they let us out alive, only calling us losers and throwing stuff at us.

Thanks again for the article. I'm very glad that Dodger management is working to solve the problem. I support them 100% as do, I believe, the vast majority of Dodger fans. However this series turns out, we'll all go on with our lives, but you won't see us at Dodgers Stadium again. Sadly, that's what the jerks really wanted.

-- Mark Antonitis

I am the biggest Dodger fan in LA. I love this team and Dodger Stadium. But it is very rowdy and not a family-themed place and not just in left field.

I think more than the physical problems, the vulgar language from the fans is horrible. When I take my high school-aged nieces, it’s terrible to hear racial and violent chants from the fans.

-- Ruben Longoria Jr.

I was at the Dodger playoff game Monday night.  The vulgarity and rowdiness was worse than I ever saw in the past!

I usually go to 8 games per year and sit in the Infield Loge section and never notice problems like I was subjected to last Monday night while sitting in the Reserved section near the right-field foul pole.

Drunk Dodger fans were cursing, pushing, and pouring beer at a couple Philly fans in the area.  The screaming of vulgarities was heard echoing throughout a couple sections.  I would have called the Dodger telephone hot-line but I couldn't get any cell coverage where I was sitting.

It seems that the further you get away from home plate the worse it gets (both the rowdiness and longer lines at the restrooms due to excessive beer drinking).

What was also appalling was the screaming of vulgarities by drunk Dodger fans especially when the crowds were jammed together trying to exit the stadium in the concession areas.  There was no way to get children out of listening distance.  It was literally echoing "F-Philly" and "MF-Philly" for what seemed like 15 minutes until we could exit the stadium.  It was embarrassing!

Besides limiting the beer being sold, I think they should replace the cute little aisle attendants with LARGE security people on EVERY aisle, especially in the outfield!

-- Vic  Greene

I was at both the Sunday night game and Monday night game.  I suggest that all fans from opposing teams be sectioned off like they do in European soccer matches.  They do this all around the world, but don't in the States.  That would solve the problem in one fell swoop.

-- Neva R. Garcia