San Francisco may seem like a happy and welcoming city, but take a step into historic Candlestick Park and that story changes completely.
On Saturday, the San Francisco 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers to advance to the NFC Title game for the second year in a row. The sold out crowd watched second year quarterback Colin Kaepernick set NFL records at his position and started “Kaepernicking” in tribute.
The victory should have led to joyous celebration in the stands. Instead, it led to multiple arrests from violent and overly intoxicated fans.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, there were 92 ejections during the game along with 25 arrests for public intoxication. There were 62 fans treated for medical ailments or problems by medical staff and.
In the parking lot after the game, police arrested two individuals for auto burglary along with two DUI arrests.
Fan violence at Candlestick park became an issue last year when the 49ers hosted the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs. After that game, a Saints’ fan who went the game with his children was quoted by the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
“I really thought if we had won that we were going to be physically in danger. I was really worried about what we were going to do. We were just going to put our heads down and wait for an hour. When the Saints lost, I felt a fair amount of relief. I grabbed the girls and we sprinted out. Everybody was busy celebrating; they didn’t care.”
There has been an increased police presence at Candlestick since the Saints’ game, but it seems to be no avail. Fans should respect the game, the players, and most of all each other.
San Francisco is not the only city where fans are becoming more aggressive. It’s a scary trend that is growing fast. What do you think: How would you attempt to ratchet down fan violence at major sporting events?