From the Editor’s Chair:
First of all, we’d like to state that we were not at Sunday’s game between the Packers and Vikings, but we have attended eight contests between these two rivals over the years. Therefore, we feel that we are qualified to comment further.
After Sunday’s game, a fight occurred at a sports bar near Lambeau Field, in which a Packers’ fan was knocked unconscious by a Vikings’ fan. The victim was actually trying to break up the fight. What we know of the incident comes solely from articles in the Green Bay Press-Gazette, so we conclude that the facts are correct. We should state also that the people involved in the fight have not been identified (yet) as having been to the game itself.
In Press-Gazette articles, it is stated that more arrests and ejections occur at Vikings’ and Bears’ games than at games with any other opponents. What we’d like to comment on is the practice by Green Bay Packers season ticket holders selling their tickets to brokers, which then allows hordes of opposing fans into the stadium. At Packers-Vikings games, there are an inordinate number of Minnesota fans. As in, when the Vikings score, there is a roar of cheering. Now, no one can legally stop ticket holders from unloading tickets for more cash, but something can and should be done to crack down on the behavior of the people who use the tickets. And, we’d like to also point out that fans of opposing teams are not the only problem. We have seen way too many drunk Packers’ “fans” causing everyone around them to have a less than enjoyable experience. Imagine getting to go to one Packers’ game in your lifetime, and the person next to you is drunk and screaming obscenities and spilling beer on you the whole time.
Here is what needs to be done: the Green Bay Packers need to go to a “one-strike” policy on fan behavior. While there probably are jerks who are season ticket holders, we believe most ticket holders are conscious of the consequences of losing their seats. As it is now, a ticket holder is warned several times before the act of revoking their ticket privilege comes into play. In other words, if you are in the habit of doling out tickets to third parties that you don’t know at all, and these people get ejected or arrested at Lambeau, you’ll be warned a few times that if this continues, you might lose you tickets.
With the collapse of decency and common sense in our society, it is time to crack down severely on disruptive fan behavior. We propose the aforementioned “one strike” policy that should be implemented in 2013. This means that if a person at a Packers’ game is ejected from the stadium, or arrested, or both, the ticket holder loses season ticket privileges — no excuses or second chances. What this will do is to cause the season ticket holder to be very serious about who uses the tickets. People will be less inclined to let four people they’ve never met use the seats, and thusly, less drunken idiots will attend games, making the experience more enjoyable for everyone.
The other major factor in this whole scenario is the over-consumption of alcohol. People have the right to drink, and the Packers have their alcoholic beverage sponsors. But this could all be tied into a heightened “Drink Responsibly” campaign, with an “or Else!” emphasis. Drunk and abusive = Losing tickets.
There are many options for those times when a season ticket holder cannot attend a game. The Packers themselves offer services where tickets can be donated for charity, and you are not responsible if something happens. We ourselves have “eaten” tickets when they couldn’t be given to responsible friends. The stakes are too high to have someone we don’t know in our seats doing who knows what.
We don’t know if anyone in the Packers organization reads our blog, but if they do, this is not just one cranky fan spouting off. It is something to consider if they want to make Lambeau Field a fan-friendly — and family-friendly — place in the years to come.