The above picture was taken by the L.A. Times during Opening Day in 2010. Is this what has become of our beloved Dodger Stadium? A place where angry fans, drunken fights and arrests have become the norm? DEFINITELY NOT! Most Dodger fans attend games to watch the Dodgers win or lose (preferrably win) and to enjoy the game of baseball. Granted, fights break out at NBA games, NFL games and other stadiums throughout MLB but it does seem like Dodger Stadium has a reputation. I don't claim to have all the answers. More security? Sure! Off-duty police officers? Sounds good! Cut beer sales off earlier than the end of the 7th inning? Ok! The reality of the situation is that additional security and off-duty police cost alot of money. McCourt financial problems or no financial problems it still costs alot of money. No owner in MLB wants to cut beer sales off, it is too much revenue to lose out on. That leaves the responsibility to us fans. Now, i'm not suggesting that we break up fights ourselves or try to intervene when situations get out of control but I do think we can help prevent things from getting too crazy. We don't have to join in or encourage the hooligan fans when they began harassing or yelling at fans from visiting teams. I've seen our beloved Dodgers play at Wrigly Field in Chicago, Chase Field in Phoenix and twice at PetCo Park in San Diego. Each time I was decked out in Dodger gear and not once to someone through a peanut, a beer, popcorn, a bottle of water or a soda at me. I've been booed but not cussed out. I've been told the Dodgers stink but never threatened. It's possible that a game can be enjoyed by visiting fans. It's just up to us as fans. That's my two cents.
A couple of other items of interest. Our last three Opening Days haven't been the greatest when it comes to fans and safety.
Opening Day 2009, there was a stabbing in the parking lot after the game. You can read about it here at the old Dodger Thoughts blog from the L.A. Times.
Opening Day 2010 saw 132 arrests mostly involving alcohol. You can read about it here at the L.A. NOW blog from the L.A. Times.
Of course we all know about the 2011 Opening Day tragedy. On a positive note, the reward is up to $100 thousand dollars according to the L.A. Times Dodger Blog.
L.A County Supervisor Mike Antonovich has offered $10 thousand dollars.
The San Francisco Giants have offered $10 thousand dollars.
American Medical Response has offered $5 thousand dollars.
The Dodgers have offered up $25 thousand dollars and the Los Angeles City Council as matched the total and offered an additional $50 thousand dollars.
True to the Blue!