Alcohol Use at Sporting Events Eyed in Study

Apr 11, 2011, 6:42 PM

Washington, D.C.’s Major League Baseball team is shaking up its food concessions. Nationals Park is ousting some food outlets — while welcoming others — in part to provide “things that go well with beer,” according to a recent Washington Post story.

But a new study in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that stadiums should be limiting — not expanding — opportunities for fans to imbibe. Researchers from the University of Minnesota measured the blood alcohol content (BAC) of 382 adults following 13 baseball games and three football games, finding that 8 percent of those surveyed had a BAC of 0.08 or higher — the minimum for legal intoxication.

Other findings:

  • Fans who tailgated before a game were 14 times more likely to leave a sporting event drunk.
  • Fans under 35 were nine times more likely to be drunk.
  • Those in the highest BAC range consumed an average of 6.6 drinks.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.