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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chargers unveil code of conduct for fans

SAN DIEGO – A stricter code of conduct for Chargers fans was unveiled Wednesday in an effort to prevent obnoxious behavior and alcohol-fueled fights at Qualcomm Stadium this season.
The rules, which go into effect at Saturday's preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys, will extend to all events that are held at the stadium year-round.“There's a very small percentage of folks who come to events and create problems for those who want to enjoy the game,” said stadium manager Mike McSweeney during a news conference Wednesday.
The fan code of conduct was first started in 2006 and has expanded with stricter policies on alcohol and tailgating.
Some new policies for the upcoming season are:
Fans will be limited to two drinks per purchase until the start of the third quarter. After that, a one-drink limit per transaction goes into effect. No alcohol will be sold in the fourth quarter.
Alcohol sales during the Dec. 4 Oakland Raiders game will cease after the first half.
Fans without pre-paid parking permits will be allowed into the parking lot four hours before kickoff. Those with permits will still have access five hours before the start of the game.
Fans will be able to use cell phones to text security officers for assistance during the game if they encounter problems. Details of the text system will be released when it becomes available.
Alcohol management teams will monitor fans inside the stadium and kick people out who they deem are drunk.
San Diego police Lt. Dan Christman said fans can also expect a greater police presence in the parking lot before games and at stadium gates.
More DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols are planned in the area on game days.
Last year, an average of 15 people were arrested per home game, Christman said, and another 45 were asked to leave the stadium by police for breaking the rules.
Officials warned that those who misbehave also risk losing their season tickets.
Over the last two years, the Chargers revoked the season tickets of about 700 fans for violating the code of conduct. Those offenders also lost privileges to buy future season tickets, said Jim Steeg, the team's chief operating officer.
“The fans asked us to take action against the small portion who continue to be inconsiderate to others,” Steeg said.
Officials plan to educate the public about the new behavior policies through JumboTron messages, fliers and on stadium signs. The new rules have also been outlined in letters mailed to about 62,000 season ticket holders this week.