The most recent fan accident at Turner Field in Atlanta resulted in tragedy after a man fell from the upper deck into the seating area behind home plate. The accident is just one of many unfortunate things that has happened to fans at stadiums this season.
These accidents have caused fans everywhere to speak out about safety at major league ballparks across the country, and I’m completely baffled as to why this is happening.
I separate seating at games in two different ways: high-risk areas and low-risk areas. A great example of a high-risk area would be sitting along the dugout. Of course, who wouldn’t want to do that? You’re close to the action, you can shout at your favorite (or least favorite) players and they’ll more than likely hear what you have to say. Then there are the low-risk areas: the outfield bleachers and behind the protective net.
I’ve sat in both areas of different stadiums and when I buy tickets in a “high-risk” area I’m always keeping my eyes on the game as it’s being played. I’ve had some screamers shoot down the line and land into surrounding sections, not once have I felt threatened to sit in those seats.
I would consider myself an average fan when it comes to actually going to games, attending around three to four games per year. Like most fans in their 20’s, I like to make my trips to the concessions for alcohol. I don’t consider my BAC level a factor of how attentive I am during play.
While the accidents have been unfortunate, they’re avoidable. Chicago Cubs’ Manager Joe Maddon spoke out with a similar opinion early last week begging fans to pay attention during the action. Even as a St. Louis Cardinals fan, I agree completely.
Extending the net behind home plate to the end of the dugouts is not going to save the fan who’s heckling Alex Rodriguez and falls over the railing. It’s certainly not going to save the excited fan who reaches over for a foul or home run ball.
The best thing to do to keep yourself safe at sporting events is to be more self-aware.
You probably paid a pretty penny to sit where you’re sitting anyway, why spend the entire time talking about something you can talk about in the car?