Background: Alcohol-related problems at professional sporting events are of increasing concern and alarming reports are often reported in international media. Although alcohol consumption increases the risk for interpersonal violence, it is viewed as a focal element of large football events. Sweden has a long tradition of high public support for strict alcohol-control policies. However, little is known about public opinions on alcohol intoxication and the support for interventions to decrease intoxication at football events. The current study explored the public opinion towards alcohol use, intoxication and alcohol policies at professional football matches in Sweden.
Methods: A cross-sectional design was utilized and a random general population sample of 3503 adult Swedish residents was asked to participate in a web survey during 2016 (response rate 68%).
Results: In total, 26% of the respondents supported alcohol sales at football events. Over 90% reported that obviously intoxicated spectators should be denied entrance or evicted from arenas. The support for regulations limiting alcohol availability varied with background factors such as gender, alcohol use and frequency of football event attendance.
Conclusions: There is a strong public consensus for strategies and policies to reduce alcohol sales and intoxication levels at football matches. This public support has implications for our preventive efforts and will facilitate the implementation of strategies and policy changes.
Keywords: Public opinion Alcohol intoxication Football Sporting events AUDIT-C.