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Dodgers' Tailgating Ban a Bit Over The Top

06/15/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Tailgaters got a rude awakening on Tuesday when they sought to unpack their coolers and place their folding chairs on the pavement in the parking lot at Dodger Stadium.

It was Opening Day of the 2010 season and Dodgers' security personnel as well as a full complement of Los Angeles police officers roamed the lots. They were polite when it was warranted but made arrests when necessary.

The Los Angeles Times reported that more than 130 people were arrested, most of whom made the mistake of bringing alcohol on to the premises and expecting to consume it.

Others got included in the sweep of the parking lot and were pinched for illegal ticket scalping and selling merchandise without a license.

While the no-tailgating rule has been in place seemingly forever, the team started acting like it would enforce it starting last year. Even then, it seemed to be targeted at rowdy patrons or those openly consuming alcohol.

This year it's different. The Times interviewed a 63-year-old woman and her grown children who got the bum's rush for unfolding their chairs and consuming tuna sandwiches, chips and Gatorade.

They were visited on multiple occasions and told they could bring their food inside the stadium. The fact that they had no alcohol in their picnic baskets was of no interest to security. All tailgating is created equal in the eyes of the Dodgers. Now where's the fun in that?

Complaints about drunk patrons who disrupt fellow fans' viewing of the game have gotten more plentiful, particularly during the playoffs or on evenings when the team has special promotions, like give-aways.

In 2009, there was a stabbing inside the stadium on opening day, which begs the question, why wasn't the knife found at the security check at the gates?

Cracking down on tailgaters might reduce the number of people who get stinking drunk before the first pitch, but it has only a distant connection to those with intentions to do bodily harm.

Here's a thought, increase the security inside the stadium and give the officers the ability to act independently in situations that require hauling someone out of the seats and away from the crowds.

Although there is a toll-free number flashed on the Diamond Vision screen for reporting disruptions around the stadium it isn't a fool proof remedy.

Staples Center, while a third the size of Dodger Stadium, has figured out how many people it needs to keep order in the stands.

The red-jacketed security personnel are not hesitant about escorting someone away from the fans, removing him/her from the arena or calling the police for assistance.

It's a tough balancing act to allow fans to enjoy their own food and drink prior to entering the ball park, while keeping peace in a stadium parking lot so vast it could house a small community college campus.

Just be forewarned that this year, the team seems to mean business.

More LA sports stories by Paula can be found here.