Alcohol control policies and practices at professional sports stadiums

Public Health Rep. 2010 Sep-Oct;125(5):665-73. doi: 10.1177/003335491012500508.


Objective: Alcohol-related problems such as assaults and drinking-driving at or near professional sporting events are commonly reported in the media. An important strategy to reduce such problems may be the use of alcohol control policies at sports stadiums. The objective of this study was to examine alcohol control policies and practices at professional sports stadiums in the U.S.

Methods: We conducted a telephone survey of food/beverage managers from 66 of the 100 U.S professional sports stadiums that house a professional hockey, basketball, baseball, and/or football team. The survey consisted of 18 items pertaining to policies regulating alcohol sales and consumption.

Results: Most managers indicated that their stadium had a range of alcohol control policies and practices. For example, all or nearly all reported their stadium allows no more than two alcoholic beverages per sale and their alcohol servers are required to check age identification of patrons who appear younger than age 30. In contrast, only about half prohibit servers younger than 21 years of age from selling alcohol both in seating areas and at concession booths, and approximately one-third designate sections of their stadiums as alcohol-free.

Conclusions: Although we found that some alcohol control policies appear to be common across stadiums, others are uncommon, leaving room for potential areas of improvement in reducing or preventing alcohol-related problems at professional sporting events. The results provide an important starting point for identifying policies that can be evaluated to determine their effectiveness in reducing alcohol-related injuries and deaths at sporting events.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / prevention & control*
  • Anniversaries and Special Events*
  • Food Services / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Food Services / standards*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Organizational Policy*
  • Social Control, Formal*
  • Sports*
  • United States