GREEN BAY - Don't say that authorities didn't warn you about misbehaving at Saturday's Vikings-Packers playoff game.
"Especially this last game," said Lt. Jeff Engelbrecht with the Green Bay Police Department. "That was put out well in advance and those agencies who were covering that ahead of time had said that there wasn't going to be any tolerance of any misconduct by fans at the game."
Last Thursday, the Packers announced it would be cutting off alcohol sales earlier than normal, and staff and police would be on the lookout for misbehaving fans Saturday. And apparently they were on the lookout: 21 people were arrested, a 2012 season high.
Of those arrested, eight were for unlawful conduct, three for unlawful conduct and trespassing, three for unlawful conduct and resisting. Two were arrested for unlawful conduct and battery.
Three other people were arrested for underage drinking. One person was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting. Another person was arrested for drug possession.
The Packers organization said Thursday the decision to increase security and limit alcohol sales had nothing to do with a post-game fight after the regular season Packers-Vikings game last month. The incident took place in a parking lot near Lambeau Field. A Minnesota man was charged with felony battery and disorderly conduct.
The number for ejections from Saturday night's game is not yet known.
"We try to make sure that those few that are bothering people and that are disrupters and not enhancing the experience for the fans that are there, make sure that they are removed from the game," Engelbrecht told FOX 11 Sunday morning.
And the number of problem fans is growing.
According to numbers compiled from Green Bay Police Department reports, in the 2011 regular season and post season home games, more than 55 people were arrested and 245 ejected. In 2012, including Saturday's game, more than 80 people were arrested. Through the regular season, nearly 250 people were ejected.
Saturday's playoff game is first in arrests on the year, followed by regular season home Lions and Bears games, with 18 and 16, respectively. All were night games.
Engelbrecht says clear lines can't be drawn between the late starts and higher arrest and ejection numbers – but doesn't deny the late starts play.
"People have the ability to be out all day, consuming alcohol, before they got to the game," explained Engelbrecht. "That probably played a factor in it."
FOX 11 contacted the Green Bay Packers organization. It says it doesn't wish to comment, yet, on the number of arrests or the correlation – if any – to the early cut off of alcohol sales. But it expects to have a better idea after meeting with police tomorrow.
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