Stadiums are safer than you think. For sure, recent deaths by fans at Candlestick Park in San Francisco and Atlanta's Braves Field in the past month may seem like a gruesome trend. But the reality is that going to a football, baseball or even race car track with tens of thousands of other spectators is a safer bet than say fishing, or even playing golf.
On Sunday, 32-year-old Kevin Hayes of Hayward was walking on a ramp between a parking area and Candlestick Park when he fell to a sidewalk below. Also on Sunday, a railing gave way at an Indianapolis Colts' game, injuring two fans who were leaning against a barrier near a tunnel leading to the Oakland Raiders locker room.
But in the past decade, there have been only 41 U.S. stadium accidents leading to 14 deaths, according to the Institute of Study of Sports Incidents at the University of Southern Mississippi.
In comparison, a report out this year by NOAA found 26 deaths since 2006 of fishermen who were hit by lightning.
"I agree that if you look at the big picture, it isn't that many incidents over a long time," said Alana Penza, director of the Institute. "But it does seem to be an attention getter."