Banning alcohol in a major college stadium: Impact on the incidence and patterns of injury and illness

Daniel W. Spaite, Harvey W. Meislin, Terence D. Valenzuela, Elizabeth A. Criss, Roger Smith, Allie Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


To evaluate the effect of banning alcohol on the incidence of injuries and illness among spectators, we reviewed 4 years (1983 to 1986) of medical incident reports from a major collegiate football stadium. At no time had alcoholic beverages been sold inside the stadium, but before 1985, fans were allowed to bring alcohol into the stadium. In 1985, this practice was banned. During the study period, 340 medical incidents (M = 12.6/game) were reported. Several alterations of specific injury/illness patterns were noted after initiation of the ban: Heat-related illness occurred more frequently before initiation of the ban, whereas extremity injuries and syncope (fainting from coronary insufficiency) occurred with greater frequency afterwards. The injury/illness rates per 10, 000 fans were 2.95 in 1983, 2.45 in 1984, 1.92 in and 3.48 in 1986. There was no significant change in the overall incident rate after the ban. Evaluation of medical incidents revealed an alteration in specific injury/illness patterns but no change in overall incidence after institution of the ban. Future investigations are needed to elucidate more clearly the impact of banning alcohol on injury/illness rates and patterns at mass gatherings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-128
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American College Health Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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