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Units Attending Pro Sports Events

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I am sure you have all seen the deplorable conduct from both players and fans at the Pistons-Pacers game by now. That reminds me of the three times I have gone to pro sports games as part of a council 'Scout Night'.

 

First Time - Indoor Soccer. Both benches emptied onto the field, major altercations, 45 minute delay in game. Scouts and adults sat dumbfounded. At the next scout meeting we had to put on skits demonstrating good sportsmanship in order to counteract what we saw.

 

Second Time - Major League Baseball Game. Again all players on the field for a fight. Pitchers throwing at batters. I think both managers were ejected before the night was over.

 

Third Time - Major League Baseball Game. No problems on the field, just in the stands. Belligerent drunks - couple of tussles - foul language - I am sure you all have seen that.

 

In each instance there was well over 1,000 scouts and leaders in attendance representing anywhere from 5 - 25% of the audience.

 

Three strikes - pro sports are out for our unit.

Any similar experiences out there? Does your unit attend pro sports events? Do your councils sponsor 'Scout Night' at a pro sports event? Are the ticket prices on such nights discounted enough to warrant going? Do you consider it a 'worthwhile' activity given the costs and the potential for mayhem recently demonstrated?

 

WWBPD

Deut. 23:13

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I haven't seen the incidents you refer to, but we have one pro team we won't take the unit to due to conduct among the fans. Another team is simply too pricey, doesn't offer discouts, and that was an easy one not to add to the unit calendar. That's the negative.

 

On a positive note, there are two teams that are very family-friendly to go see, and not just on Scout night. These two teams are added to the unit calendar as soon as the Scout night dates are known. If there is a conflict with Scout night, we will still go, but another time. These are two nights families look forward to due to the sport, the atmosphere, the discounts, and the extra activities offered to Scouts.

 

My suggestion is to know what the fans are usually like at games, then decide which teams the unit would like to go see in play if you'd like to see pro sports on the calendar.

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One of the most popular outings, cubs really love, is the Scout night at our local short season single a baseball team. The last few years it has included the chicken. The part the cubs look forward to is camping out overnight on the outfield. We put on a campfire program sans fire after the rest of the fans leave and the tents are up (no tent stakes only free standing domes). The team provides a morning continental breakfast and we're gone by 9 AM. Oh, the scout ticket usually includes a hot dog and drink.

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Our troop recently attended the 11-16-04 NBA game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the New Orleans Hornets at the Bradley center in Milwaukee WI. This was also Scout night as many other Packs and Troops were in attendance and in uniform, as a courtesy, all attending units had there title and number as well as hometown listed on the jumbotron before the game. I felt it was a great time for the Scouts and the leaders. I suppose though that we could have witnessed an example of poor sportsmanship had it occurred that evening. Although poor sportsmanship seems more common these days among pro sports, I can suggest an alternative, visit your closest speedway or motorsports venue. I know that most NASCAR events are rather expensive, but I don't think you will see much in the way of un-sportsman-like conduct. I know there have been incidents between drivers that were poor sportsmanship, but the governing body has leveed serious fines on those who embarass the sport. Our local track, Jefferson Speedway, has a Scout night once during the racing season. The price of admission is wearing a Scout uniform for youth and adult leaders. In the last 2 years, the Jefferson Speedway management has provided a space for the Council to set up a Pinewood derby track and have let Scouts and Scouters bring their cars in to have a friendly night of Pinewood racing for trophies and bragging rights. This feature has also resulted in more than a few Cub Scouts being recruited when the potential recruits learned that Pinewood racing is part of the Cub Scout program. Hope this helps, Will Kirchmayer, ASM T131

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We have not attended the "major" professional sports teams in the Chicago area, as the discounts are not enough to make a difference. However, I encourage you to check out the minor league baseball teams near you. They normally have great scout packages, free parking, good reasonably priced food, and surprisingly entertaining baseball. They usually have events going on between innings, and on weekends, fireworks shows.

 

Also check some of your colleges. We attend a major NCAA basketball game every year, and the tickets are free of charge!

 

 

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I don't know how scouts could afford a major pro sporting event. Around here the only sports that might be affordable would be baseball, and it is virtually impossible to get tickets. I think the line for next year has already start outside Fenway. The other sport that would be viable would be Major leage soccer. I have attended those games and they are very family friendly.

 

Personally I find college games more enjoyable. Very affordable, crouds are controlled but enthusiastic, mainly because most of the schools around here have stopped selling beer at sporting events.

 

SA

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WWBPD, I applaud your strength in making the decision not to attend anymore pro sporting events with your troop. Given the often frenetic and rabid approach our society now displays when it come to sports, I suspect that this wasnt an easy decision for you.

 

 

We dont do big league sports with the boys. We do a minor league baseball game and a local college basketball game. The baseball game is outstanding! The stadium is small and very family friendly. They limit alcohol sales, and have no tolerance for unruly fans. The people running this operation have clearly figured out that their business is the family, and they go to great extremes to make the stadium a place where you want to bring your family.

 

For those of you that do not go to minor league baseball games, I would suggest that you look into it.

 

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Thanks all. I was thinking more about the big leagues where the fan behavior is especially a problem. We did do a minor league baseball game as a troop outing halfway through a summer camp week (the Pulaski Rangers a few miles from the Blue Ridge Mountains Scout Reservation). Our troop represented about half of the total attendance - we had a great time and there were plenty of foul balls.

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I realize this isn't exactly on-topic, but our troop did attend a sporting event yesterday -- the Navy-Rutgers football game on Scout Day at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. We also had a tour of the academy. It was a great event, but then again it was not a pro sporting event. To the contrary, it was the first time I have been to a sporting event where the entire student body of one of the teams was not only in full attendance, but identically dressed, cheering in unison, and I'd have to say as a devotee of the other team in the game, very respectful of everybody in attendance.

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WE just did Scout night at the Minor league hockey game this weekend.

Considering there is no hockey we had a great turnout and a good time. the fans were under control and there was only one fight by the players in the 1st.

We invited our local Webelos to come along. Made a great recruiting tool since we picked up the ticket for the Webelos.

I don't think we would go to a Major league game however due to cost and fans being out of control.

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We took the Troop to a UH game at Aloha Stadium last year -- sat in the family section, no incidents, good time. The only pro event here they'd be remotely interested in is the NFL Pro Bowl. That's an expensive ticket, in addition to being a 3-ring circus -- too many uncontrollable variables for me to be comfortable with that many critters under my charge.

 

I've been to pro games in all 4 "big sports". I thought there was the greatest chance for a donnybrook in these sports, in this order: hockey, basketball, baseball, football. What happened Friday was appalling, but not surprising. I've been to Pistons games when Bill Laimbeer played there, and saw player fights on the court, and fan fights off the court, but never the two put together although there was no reason there couldn't have been. At least it can serve as a bad example of sportsmanship -- a teaching moment in everything, yes?

 

BTW, check the GTSS on motorized speed events. It tells me we can't go as units. When I was in Virginia, we had a pack tour permit to a NASCAR track disapproved...that's how we found out. After this Cubmaster wiped the egg off his face, he dug into the GTSS a little more.

 

KS

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We used to go to Celtics and Red Sox games - Celtics have gotten too pricey and the times were not great (7PM game on a school night), and this past season the Red Sox didn't offer a Scout Day at all! Everyone was very disappointed. We do go to minor league hockey (which is always fun) and plan to go to minor league baseball this coming season (a lot of the Scout families already go to see the minor league baseball - it's extremely family-friendly).

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All of our local sports franchises seem to be very Scout-friendly. The Bobcats recently hosted a Scout night and it turned out to be the first win in franchise history. That was a cool game to go to. Lowe's Speedway also give free entry to uniformed Scouts and their families to one of the Busch races during race weeks in May and October. One year the president of the speedway grabbed a couple of our guys and made them his guest for a tour of the pits, introducing all the drivers as they went. A couple years ago the Panthers had the Scouts participate in the pre-game flag ceremony on the field before an NFL game. I think something like 1500 Scouts showed up, were treated to lunch and the game.

 

Of course there are exceptions, but generally most of the games I've attended are very family-friendly. I have season tickets to the Panthers and they are pretty strict regarding fan behavior. The team has taken a lot of flack over the years for some of the rules -- no smoking in the stadium, men (and I'm sure women, too) must keep their shirts on, no beer sales after the third quarter -- but I've never been concerned about taking my sons to a game. Anytime anyone gets out of hand, they are escorted out pretty quickly.

 

Jerry Richardson, the owner of the Panthers is pretty old-school and doesn't put up with much. While we've had our share of bone-headed players, (anyone remember Rae Carrouth?) he's pretty quick to cut them for off-field infractions.

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