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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kaus: Do Skyboxes Cause Crime?

Mickey’s Assignment Desk: Do Skyboxes Cause Crime? Here in L.A. we’ve been traumatized by the vicious beating given a San Francisco Giants fan who attended a game at Dodger Stadium.  Many are shocked that this could happen at a ballgame, but I remember being told several times, when I was sitting in fairly expensive seats at the stadium, that I shouldn’t go to the bleachers because that’s where thugs hung out. Which raises a question: Has the class segregation of sports stadiums helped promote hooliganism? The argument would be a fairly straightforward miniaturized version of the argument that concentrating the poor in inner cities helped breed an underclass. Specifically, if all the classes were mixed together–no skyboxes, no separate, more expensive decks–middle class values would prevail, or else the cops would be called and management would hear about it in no uncertain terms. The more they are unmixed–with the cheap seats geographically cut off from the mainstream–the more we a) allow general mainstream norms to be flouted in the cut off areas and b) ensure that the affluent are insulated and won’t care about (a). … Problems with theory: Even bleacher seats aren’t that cheap. …

JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: May 31, 2011 at 04:02 AM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers

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   1. Craig Calcaterra Posted: May 31, 2011 at 12:07 PM (#3841387)
Another problem: I'd bet a decent chunk of change that there is less hooliganism in the stands now than there was back in the 70s and early 80s when there were fewer luxury seating options available.

Incidents are given broader coverage when they happen now -- and of course the Stow thing was an outlier in terms of severity -- but I bet you were more likely to deal with drunk jackasses and other nogoodniks in the cheap seats in 1979 than you are today.
   2. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 31, 2011 at 01:37 PM (#3841441)
Anyone who thinks that the ballpark experience was safer in the 70s wasn't attending games in the 70s. It wasn't some sort of terrifying experience but there was definitely more "stuff" going on then than there is today. Baseball (like most experiences) is a LOT more family friendly now than it was.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 31, 2011 at 01:47 PM (#3841446)
It wasn't some sort of terrifying experience but there was definitely more "stuff" going on then than there is today.

It was terrifying sometimes :-) Although, that was more getting into/out of the Yankee Stadium area than in the Stadium itself.
   4. SteveM. Posted: May 31, 2011 at 01:50 PM (#3841448)
Anyone who thinks that the ballpark experience was safer in the 70s wasn't attending games in the 70s. It wasn't some sort of terrifying experience but there was definitely more "stuff" going on then than there is today. Baseball (like most experiences) is a LOT more family friendly now than it was.


I think that is in general true. But, is that true in particular of Dodger Stadium?
   5. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 31, 2011 at 02:02 PM (#3841454)
Guns don't kill people; skyboxes do.

And if they outlaw skyboxes, only outlaws will have skyboxes.
   6. Lassus Posted: May 31, 2011 at 02:02 PM (#3841455)
This is true across the board with the insta-news cycle. The good ol' days were definitely not, but you simply never heard about anything back then the way you hear about EVERYTHING now.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: May 31, 2011 at 02:03 PM (#3841456)
But, is that true in particular of Dodger Stadium?


From what I understand, Dodger Stadium is the outlier in this regard, about the only stadium that's gone from safe to dangerous.

I attended one Red Sox-Yankee game in New York as a kid. My dad pretty much vowed he wouldn't take me to see another Sox-Yankee game until I was much older due to all that was going on in the stands. And that was a game played at Shea.
   8. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: May 31, 2011 at 02:34 PM (#3841474)
In the 70s you used to be able to bring your own alcohol into Dodger Stadium. As you can imagine things eventually got out of control in the bleachers and all alcohol was banned there (I'm not sure of the date, but I believe it was the late 70s).

The alcohol sales ban was lifted under McCourt's ownership. However, the hooligan/thug issues began under News Corp ownership. Neither ownership group seemed to care until McCourt's recent show of force.
   9. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 31, 2011 at 02:46 PM (#3841484)
Mickey’s Assignment Desk: Do Skyboxes Cause Crime? Here in L.A. we’ve been traumatized by the vicious beating given a San Francisco Giants fan who attended a game at Dodger Stadium. Many are shocked that this could happen at a ballgame, but I remember being told several times, when I was sitting in fairly expensive seats at the stadium, that I shouldn’t go to the bleachers because that’s where thugs hung out.


The implicit premise of this article is moronic. Was the guy who was attacked in the parking lot wearing a shirt that read "Ask Me About My Skybox"?
   10. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 31, 2011 at 02:58 PM (#3841496)
Was the guy who was attacked in the parking lot wearing a shirt that read "Ask Me About My Skybox"?


That's what I heard, Mr. Know-It-All.
   11. bads85 Posted: May 31, 2011 at 03:37 PM (#3841519)
Dodger Stadium has always been a caste system. One can only get to each level if they have a ticket for that level. In recent years, the collapse of the secondary ticket markets has allowed the hooligans out of the bleachers and into the better seats.
   12. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: May 31, 2011 at 04:23 PM (#3841559)
This is true across the board with the insta-news cycle. The good ol' days were definitely not, but you simply never heard about anything back then the way you hear about EVERYTHING now.

It's amazing how many people don't understand this. Pre-CNN, there was generally only about two hours of TV news a day - 30 minutes of local news at lunch, dinner, and 11PM, and 30 minutes of national news after the dinnertime local news. So you got the big local stories, and the really big national stories. Things like missing children got almost no coverage outside of the local area, unless it was something big like the Atlanta (Wayne Williams) thing.

Now, with multiple 24 hour news networks, plus as much as 10 or more hours a day* on broadcast channels, they need something to fill that up. And scaring people leads to better ratings...

* Fox 5 in Atlanta has local news from 4:30-10AM most days, then another hour at noon, two more hours starting at 5PM, an hour and a half starting at 10PM, and then I think they rerun that 10PM newscast at 1 or 2AM.
   13. Zach Posted: May 31, 2011 at 10:05 PM (#3841829)
Are people really tolerating the rowdyism? The word of mouth campaign Kaus describes sounds more like white flight -- there are some parts of the stadium that "nice" people have decided are no go areas. The poor people aren't so much concentrated as unable to move out.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: May 31, 2011 at 10:12 PM (#3841832)
only outlaws will have skyboxes.

I assume this is already true.

It's amazing how many people don't understand this.

And you're just talking TV news. The internet triples that coverage and it's instantly disseminated.

I will say that while maybe I shouldn't have, I always felt completely safe in Wrigley in the 70s. Those unemployed bums and drunken frat boys were always nice to us. I am pretty sure that the first time I ever swore out loud though was telling the LF bleachers to go to Hell so it was the road to perdition.

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