Everyone loves to spend the day watching their favorite team battle its rival on the field of battle. Something that most avid fans may not realize as they sit patiently waiting to leave the stadium (why does it always feel like there’s only one exit for 100,000 people?) that 1 in every 12 fans leaves a major sporting event while intoxicated.
A study conducted by the University of Minnesota determined out of 382 adults who had attended baseball and football games, eight percent of the fans registered a blood alcohol content in excess of the legal threshold for intoxication, 0.08%. Those participating in tailgating activities before a game were 14 times more likely to be drunk when leaving the sports venue.
In 2006, the team of researchers would approach fans at professional sporting events and ask them to submit to an anonymous breath test and answer a five-minute survey. Many resisted, perhaps not wanting to know the result or an interest in leaving the stadium and getting home. An average of 20 fans per event did participate in the study; 58% of them were male, and 55% were between the ages of 21 and 35.
The significant concern is that the intoxicated fans likely would be driving home, leading to drunk driving accidents and injuries. Some have used the study to ask stadiums, universities and other sporting venues to conduct better sobriety checks, discourage tailgating and limit drinks served to fans during events.