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DETROIT ROCK CITY: LIONS STILL EXPERIENCE VIOLENCE AT GAMES
Published September 30, 1997
"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).