• Texas Defends Handling of Mascot Bevo After Incident

    by Paul Steinbach January 2019

    The University of Texas athletic department says standard procedure was used in handling Bevo XV, the team's on-field mascot since 2016, when the 1,700-pound longhorn steer briefly acted up before Tuesday's Sugar Bowl.

    Bevo was standing within a makeshift corral when Georgia's live bulldog mascot Uga approached on a handler's leash. The two animals had been introduced earlier that day without incident, but this time Bevo lunged through the corral, clipping two photographers and sending other onlookers scrambling.

    "He got me in the back," said Nick Wagner, an Austin American-Statesman photographer who had been taking photos of Uga. "I don't know whether it was his horn or his snout, but I think it was his horn. His right horn came around and clocked me in the face along the cheekbone."

    Bruised and sore, Wagner added, "I'll just keep my head on a better swivel and pay him more respect in the future."

    A photographer from The Daily Texan student newspaper likewise felt grazed by a horn.

    Despite the scare, no changes are expected regarding how Bevo, a four-year-old longhorn owned by ranchers in Liberty, Texas, is cared for during live appearances. Members of the Silver Spurs, a student group, serve as Bevo’s handlers and caretakers. The Spurs’ website describes Bevo XV as "one of the friendliest and manageable" Bevos in UT’s history.

    "All of the established safety measures for Bevo at home and away football games were in place at the Sugar Bowl last night," John Bianco, a spokesman for UT's athletics department, told the American-Statesman in an emailed statement. "The handlers that are with him at all times are well-educated, trained and did their job."

    As the numerals after his name would indicate, Bevo is the latest in a long line of live mascot longhorns at Texas. Live animal mascots have long been part of the gameday atmosphere at many schools, and not without controversy, as AB reported in 2008. Following Tuesday's incident, PETA officials called on both schools to end their live mascot traditions.



  • Suit Filed Over Injuries Suffered at College Football Game

    by Jason Scott January 2019

    A man who suffered a severe brain injury after being struck with a ball during halftime festivities of a San Diego State football game has filed a lawsuit against the city of San Diego and the California State University system.

  • Can Do: Bears Nix Beer Plastic Cups at Soldier Field

    by Paul Steinbach December 2018

    For the first time since the 2002 renovation of Soldier Field, the stadium vendors are selling beer to Chicago Bears fans in cans as opposed to pouring the beer in plastic cups.

    The trend toward cans has been slowed by concerns that full cans of beer can be hurled from the stands and cause injury, as has been the case in isolated incidents in the NFL and MLB.

    But the Bears' adoption of cans has a more positive spin, according to one vendor. "We wanted to bring cans to Soldier Field because they are more environmentally friendly," said Marty Malone, spokesman for supplier MillerCoors. "The cans provide a ready-to-consume and recyclable container, eliminating the need for cups and cutting down significantly on waste."

    Industry insiders told the Chicago Sun-Times that a>bout 20,000 cases of beer are sold at the 61,500-seat stadium every year, including at the Bears' 10 preseason and regular season games and at a few concerts. At 24 cans per case, that's 480,000 cans of beer.


  • Report: Pro Stadiums Failing at Food Safety

    by Andy Berg December 2018

    Next time you head to your favorite professional stadium, you might want to skip the hot dogs and draft beer.

  • Hosting Games In a Stadium Under Renovation

    by Paul Steinbach December 2018

    Among the parking attendants, ticket scanners, concessions workers and security professionals working Memorial Stadium at the University of Missouri this fall, one individual holds an atypical football game-day job title: crane operator. As the Tigers and their opponents toil on Faurot Field, a giant boom looming beyond the stadium's south end zone has required someone to sit at the controls every home Saturday and keep it still.

  • Utah, BYU ADs Ask Fans to Play Nice

    by Andy Berg November 2018

    The athletic directors at the University of Utah and Brigham Young University are appealing to fans of both schools to be nice to each other as the rival football teams are set to square off this weekend at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.

  • Wildfires May Force Cancellation of Cal, Stanford Game

    by Andy Berg November 2018

    Devastating wildfires in Northern California may force the postponement of Saturday’s football game between Pac-12 rivals Cal and Stanford.

  • Fan Critically Injured in Fall from Titans' Lower Deck

    by Andy Berg November 2018

    A fan was critically injured Sunday afternoon in a fall at the Tennessee Titans’ Nissan Stadium.

  • Exterminator Shines Light on Stadium Rodents

    by Paul Steinbach November 2018

    Stadium operators have a rodent problem. There are the rodents they can see (mice) and the ones they can't (rats), and there's a good chance they don't want to acknowledge the existence of either. But the truth, according to Lary Adkins of Fort Worth, Texas-based Pest Boys, is that just about every open-air stadium in America is infested, and operators are going at the problem all wrong — if at all. Adkins has experience ridding Texas Stadium (the former home of the Dallas Cowboys) and The Ballpark at Arlington (now Globe Life Park, the Texas Rangers' home) of rodents, and he currently works with clients as diverse as Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark and Texas Motor Speedway. AB senior editor Paul Steinbach asked Adkins to shine a light on the pest issue.

  • Pro Football Stadiums Aim to Stem Fan Violence

    by Andy Berg November 2018

    The $1 million lawsuit filed this week by a Cowboys fan who was severely beaten at a game two years ago is yet another reason professional football stadium operators are trying their best to get fan violence under control.