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The City and County whiff on public safety at sports venues

I presume you've already read stories about how the Mayor, Frank McCourt and Chief Beck all got together to say "never again" regarding the beating of a Giant fan at Dodger Stadium. As for me, I don't know how any of them can be so insistent all of a sudden, as the Stadium's parking lot has been a violent and unsettling place for a few years now.

Where were these people for last year's opener, which was equally rowdy?

It's a tragedy that something so extreme had to happen before anyone in a leadership position dared to make some changes. But the issue speaks more broadly to another: how far should the City go with regards to in assuring public safety for a sports team?

I find it very disturbing simply to see the Mayor and the City's police chief standing there with as capricious and insouciant an owner as Frank McCourt. This is McCourt's franchise, and it's not up to the City to make it safe for him, any more than it's up to the City to make a McDonald's parking lot safe. It's up to him to make it safe for his customers.

All it's up to the City to do is to make sure he runs his business safely, in a way that does not threaten public safety.

Wherever large crowds gather, the City's--and in this case, the County's--duty is to assure the public's safety. As the public perceives a sports venue in a similar way that it does a public park or beach, the safety standards should be similar. In this case, the City's top public safety officials should not have offered their acquiescent support to McCourt. No, they should have kept their distance from him, and dared to red-tag Dodger Stadium until it demonstrated to City and County that it is in compliance with the same kinds of public safety standards our beaches and parks are.