Higher Property Crime Rates Correlated With Pro Football Game Timing


What better time to steal something than when a city is fawning over a sporting event, says the Washington Post. Professional football games are associated with upticks in city crime, said a study that observed crime rates in eight cities—Detroit, Miami, New Orleans, Newark, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Baltimore, and Washington—over two years. The study found that days on which cities hosted home games for their respective professional football teams coincided with a nearly 3 percent increase in total crime, including a more than 4 percent increase in larceny and almost 7 percent increase in car thefts. “NFL home games are correlated with a higher incidence of crime compared to non-game days or days when the team is playing an away game in another city,” the study said.

Games that begin at 1 p.m. Eastern time are the most closely connected to higher crime rates. They were found to be associated with a 4 percent increase in both total crime and economic crime, considerably more than those beginning in the late afternoon or night. The association reflects a more general trend that shows criminals tend to act during the daytime. About 40 percent of property crime occurs before 6 p.m., while only about 13 percent takes place between then and midnight, according to the 2008 National Criminal Victimization Survey.

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