In recent weeks we have had some terrible incidents occur in Melbourne. Booze affected patrons have been involved in fights at the football, some even in front of families and young children.
Three people were injured last Friday night after a fight broke out at Etihad Stadium’s Medallion Club, during the game between Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs.
A man was glassed in the face at the Geelong and Carlton clash last Saturday night. Shockingly this incident was right in front of young children who were left screaming and crying.
The week prior to this, ten people were involved in a fight while Collingwood and St Kilda did Battle at Etihad. In a separate incident at the same game, a man was shoved through the door of a food shop as spectators looked on in horror.
These incidents have resulted in people calling for booze to be banned at the footy. Whilst this might sound like a way of preventing these booze-fuelled incidents, I certainly disagree. Banning booze at the footy is not the answer!
I am like many people who enjoy a social drink with my friends or family at sporting events. The majority of people do the right thing and either know when to stop or can control themselves enough to not engage in any unruly behaviour. Why should people who do the right thing at the footy miss out because of a minority of idiots that can’t handle their booze?
Imagine the consequences of banning booze… people wouldn’t bother going to the footy anymore and the alcohol companies and stadiums would lose millions of dollars
Another issue that banning booze would create is that people would be more likely to attempt to sneak alcohol into the venue, have pre-drinks at home or at a pub nearby. This would lead to binge drinking and still doesn’t solve the issue of alcohol-fuelled violence, as they will still be intoxicated upon arrival.
What can be done to fix the problem?
My first suggestion is for staff working behind the bar. They need to pay more attention to those they are serving alcohol to and they need to be tougher and more assertive. Don’t continue serving patrons if they are under the influence of alcohol or are showing signs of intoxication.
Secondly, Police and Security need to intervene straight away and eject these trouble makers immediately! If any patrons are involved in fights, they should be given life bans from attending events at the venue.
The other suggestion is to just serve low or mid-strength alcohol at places like the Medallion Club in Etihad Stadium. Patrons could even buy tokens, and there could be a rule that once they have used up a certain number of tokens, then they can no longer buy anymore alcohol.
If patrons are aware of these consequences then they will be a lot less likely to get involved in fights.
Banning the booze is definitely not the answer, we just need to use more logic and those working behind the bar need to be more responsible so that the majority of people that enjoy a beer at the footy don’t have their experience affected by morons that ruin it for everyone else!