SBD/30/Franchises

DETROIT ROCK CITY: LIONS STILL EXPERIENCE VIOLENCE AT GAMES

          "Increased fan violence at Lions football games is
     being blamed on heavy drinking during tailgate parties in
     the Silverdome parking lot -- an illegal practice apparently
     condoned by Lions and Silverdome officials, as well as
     police," according to Ron French of the DETROIT NEWS.  In
     the latest incident, a fan remains in serious condition at a
     Pontiac, MI, hospital "in what appears to have been a
     drunken brawl" during Sunday's game.  While police, stadium
     and concession officials meet before and during games to
     decide when to cut off beer sales, French writes that
     officials "have done little to contain the drinking that
     occurs before the games in the stadium parking lot."  A city
     ordinance forbids open containers of alcohol on the grounds
     of the Silverdome.  Lions VP Bill Keenist said security of
     the parking lot is the responsibility of the Stadium
     Authority.  Keenist: "We see tailgating as part of the lore
     of professional football. ... Our position is, we want to do
     whatever we can so that our fans have a safe enjoyable time"
     (DETROIT NEWS, 9/30).  Silverdome and Lions officials say
     Sunday's fight, "while serious, was isolated between two
     people among nearly 80,000, including several thousand Green
     Bay fans" (Brian Murphy, DETROIT FREE PRESS, 9/30).

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