Editorial: Packing stadiums is what we do; keep going

May. 07, 2013 @ 07:22 PM

Following the tragic events of the Boston Marathon, Americans have rightly questioned their safety in going to sporting events.

We think they are wise to do so. We should always be smart about our surroundings, where we place ourselves.

We also believe Americans should continue to go.

Passion and pride are key elements for most of the fan bases packing our stadiums. There are many others who tag along, the friend of someone with tickets, others just wanting to knock off a bucket list item.

The numbers are staggering. New Year’s Day to New Year’s Eve 365 days later, Americans fill sports stadiums, pay outlandish prices for parking, food and souvenirs, even scrap for baseballs to say it came from a stadium when they can easily get the spheres in local sporting goods stores.

We’re amazing.

This past weekend, a day after a sports stadium’s security report appeared in a national newspaper, more than 150,000 crowded into the Kentucky Derby for one of horse racing’s crown jewels. And it was miserably wet and raining. A day later, about 88,000 swarmed into the superspeedway at Talladega, Ala.

They came by the hundreds of thousands for hundreds of other events all weekend, from colleges to pros and all points in between and beyond.

And there was not a major incident among them.

The report on security in stadiums wasn’t very comforting. In essence, stadium security varies and not all people wearing identifying regalia are the same. Some states have laws, like North Carolina’s for private protective services, and some don’t. Some stadiums and teams pay handsomely and are rewarded with great service; others get what they pay for, which might not be much.

Even in the Tri-County, we see varying levels of security depending on which games we attend.

Events such as what happened in Boston are our reminders that there is no absolute. The investigative newspaper piece confirms security can be good, and sometimes it can be nothing more than theater.

But we don’t believe in being scared of our shadow. We should be in places we feel safe, whether it’s a ball game or otherwise.

Enjoy the games, and save us a seat.