“Spectator Sport Safety: The Injuries that are Overlooked”

“Spectator Sport Safety: The Injuries that are Overlooked”

How often do we turn on ESPN or check our Twitter to follow our favorite players and learn about a crucial injury?  Whether it be John Brantley’s lower leg injury for the Florida Gators or the Magic’s Hedo Turkoglu bruised left hip; these are fairly familiar occurrences for major and college level teams.  Injuries sustained by the spectators however, are too commonly overlooked.

Spectator injuries can happen anytime and anywhere; whether it be from a fly baseball hitting a child in the crowd during a warm up, or opposing fans engaging in a fist fight in the parking lot after the game or a driver hitting another person while leaving the event. With over 15 million people attending professional sporting events every year, the number of spectator injuries is substantial.  A recent study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that as much as 1 in 12 fans of major sporting events leave the game above the legal drinking limit, thus compounding the risk of accident or injury to themselves and other spectators.

With the NBA All-Star weekend event starting February 24th in Orlando, the Downtown Development Board has estimated tens of thousands of people will be staying in and around this area leading up to the games.   City leaders believe the All-Star Weekend will bring revenues estimated at $100 million to the city.   With this is mind, the City Council has voted to extended the drinking hours of Orlando bars til three am.  This is a great opportunity to showcase all Orlando has to offer but incident reports from previous hosting cities show an increase in violence and potential injury during that period.   One such report from the 2007 NBA All-Star week in Las Vegas recorded over 403 arrests during the four days and two spectators were in critical conditions from fights, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s department.

It’s exciting to have the NBA All-Star Weekend in our backyard, no doubt. But just because it feels like home, doesn’t mean we don’t need to take extra precautionary measures to protect ourselves.  Here are some safety tips that can keep your family and friends safe should you encounter a situation during a sporting event or directly after.

To minimize risk of accident or injury at a sporting event:

1. Be aware of the areas where fans are starting to get aggressive

2. When picking which game to go to consider the rivalry between your home and opposing teams

3. To avoid larger crowds leave the facilities early

4. Monitor your alcohol intake as well as the people you came with

If you are injured during a game or after: 

1. File an incident report with the facility and ensure that the details are recorded to reflect exactly what happened

2. Request a copy of the report

3. Ask witnesses for their names and contact information. This information should be filed in the report

4. Document the incident and your injuries with pictures and descriptions

5. Find medical support immediately and report all details of the incident to your medical provider

Spectator Safety Tips & the NBA All-Stars in Orlando
How often do we turn on ESPN or check our Twitter to follow our favorite players and learn about a crucial injury?  Whether it be John Brantley’s lower leg injury for the Florida Gators or the Magic’s Hedo Turkoglu bruised left hip; these are fairly familiar occurrences for major and college level teams.  Injuries sustained by the spectators however, are too commonly overlooked.

Spectator injuries can happen anytime and anywhere; whether it be from a fly baseball hitting a child in the crowd during a warm up, or opposing fans engaging in a fist fight in the parking lot after the game or a driver hitting another person while leaving the event. With over 15 million people attending professional sporting events every year, the number of spectator injuries is substantial.  A recent study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that as much as 1 in 12 fans of major sporting events leave the game above the legal drinking limit, thus compounding the risk of accident or injury to themselves and other spectators.

With the NBA All-Star weekend event starting February 24th in Orlando, the Downtown Development Board has estimated tens of thousands of people will be staying in and around this area leading up to the games.   City leaders believe the All-Star Weekend will bring revenues estimated at $100 million to the city.   With this is mind, the City Council has voted to extended the drinking hours of Orlando bars til three am.  This is a great opportunity to showcase all Orlando has to offer but incident reports from previous hosting cities show an increase in violence and potential injury during that period.   One such report from the 2007 NBA All-Star week in Las Vegas recorded over 403 arrests during the four days and two spectators were in critical conditions from fights, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s department.

It's exciting to have the NBA All-Star Weekend in our backyard, no doubt. But just because it feels like home, doesn't mean we don't need to take extra precautionary measures to protect ourselves.  Here are some safety tips that can keep your family and friends safe should you encounter a situation during a sporting event or directly after.

To minimize risk of accident or injury at a sporting event:

1. Be aware of the areas where fans are starting to get aggressive

2. When picking which game to go to consider the rivalry between your home and opposing teams

3. To avoid larger crowds leave the facilities early

4. Monitor your alcohol intake as well as the people you came with

If you are injured during a game or after: 

1. File an incident report with the facility and ensure that the details are recorded to reflect exactly what happened

2. Request a copy of the report

3. Ask witnesses for their names and contact information. This information should be filed in the report

4. Document the incident and your injuries with pictures and descriptions

5. Find medical support immediately and report all details of the incident to your medical provider

 

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