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Community leaders say alcohol is issue at Dodger Stadium

May 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Fan safety at Dodger Stadium was the topic of a community meeting on Wednesday night in Elysian Park.

Community and church leaders said there's too much drinking and aggressive fan behavior at the stadium.

With a Dodger representative at the meeting, officials listened to suggestions on how to improve fan safety.

The group agreed that intoxicated fans should be removed from the stands. In a related suggestion, some said beer should stop being sold after the sixth inning, not the seventh.

Some, however, pointed out that fans who want to drink will simply end up drinking earlier in the game.

"People are going to buy beer ahead of time so they have more beef for after the seventh inning, sixth inning or whatever inning they decide to do it in," Sharon Salinas said.

Since the implementation of more police around the stadium, the Los Angeles Police Department said the added security has made the stadium safer.

"It's like night and day," LAPD Capt. Bill Murphy said. "People come up to us and tell us it's a much safer environment."

Some community members said more police won't solve the problem.

"Not all people who drink behave this way," said Echo Park resident Isa-Kae Meksin. "You're giving alcoholics a bad name. Behave so we can live peaceably and enjoy a game."

Another recommendation was to start an educational and awareness campaign about alcohol consumption, public safety and violence.

Meanwhile, there's word the Dodgers' financial problems are getting worse. According to the Wall Street Journal, team owner Frank McCourt may not have enough money to cover payroll at the end of this month.

McCourt's lawyers are now working to give Major League Baseball access to the team's financial records.

McCourt is trying to sign a $3 billion TV deal, which he says would cover the team's bills. But MLB Commissioner Bud Selig won't approve it until the financial investigation is finished.

This week, McCourt took fan phone calls during a live radio interview.

"I'm not here for a big profit. I'm here for the reasons I said I was here from the day I arrived," McCourt said during the interview. "Did I get moved sideways a little bit? Yes, I did...But the fact of the matter is I love the game, I love the community, I love the team and I have an obligation to win back fans."