Crime Dips in Chicago During Big Games: Researchers

Art Golab, Chicago Sun-Times, June 4, 2014

Criminals are sports fans too.

That’s one of the theories behind research showing that on Monday nights when the Bears play, crime in Chicago drops 13 percent on average.

Crime also fell 7 percent on average during Cubs or White Sox playoff games and by 2 percent during Bulls televised playoffs, according to a working paper by two doctoral candidates at the University of California, Berkeley, Law School.

Looking at Chicago’s minute-by-minute crime reports, Ryan Copus and Hannah Laqueur found that the biggest drop in Chicago crime during a sporting event–26 percent–happens during the Super Bowl.

Officer Michael Garza, a Chicago cop for 21 years, doesn’t have a Ph.D, but he’s noticed the same thing.

“When the Bears made the playoffs once, I was out there on the street and nobody else was there,” said Garza, who works in the 4th District. No matter what the neighborhood, he said, “Crime drops during major events like playoffs. People like their sports.”

But Copus and Laqueur have figured out a way to measure just how much people like their sports.

Whether it’s the Super Bowl, a Bears Monday night game or Major League Baseball or NBA playoff–if it’s on TV, Copus and Laqueur say crime drops in Chicago. They said it’s because crooks are glued to their couches watching the game like the rest of us. So they can’t be outside causing trouble.


Copus and Laqueur looked at different categories of crime–violent, property, drug and other–and found significant drops across the board. But might the fact that cops are sports fans, too, account for some of the declines?

The researchers say yes. A steeper drop in drug crime–63 percent during the Super Bowl and 29 percent during Bears’ Monday Night Football appearances–could be explained by the fact that police have more discretion in making drug arrests.


Copus and Laqueur hope their work helps change the conversation about media and violence. Most research so far has focused on whether violence in video games, movies and TV makes people more violent in real life.

The researchers don’t take sides in that debate, but instead argue that at least while people are viewing such media, they are not in a position to hurt society.


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  • JDInSanD

    How much does crime drop on Sundays when Neil DeGrasse Tyson hosts Cosmos?

    • r j p

      That’s when I turn off FOX and go read outside.

  • More bread and circuses, less crime and insurrection.

    This has been understood since the relatively early days of the ancient Roman Empire.

    • Pro_Whitey

      But wouldn’t a full day’s hard labor also tire them out and keep them and us out of trouble?

      • Ron Cheaters

        Standing around watching other people work doesn’t have that effect on most people.

  • Pro_Whitey

    I wonder how much the crime drop is due to cops and dispatchers watching the games and not picking up calls for help.

  • Truthseeker

    I have to wonder how many Blacks even plan their crimes and how many just spontaneously commit them when left to their own devices. We hear about Black kids who go out and kill White people because they were “bored,” so it’s probably the same with other types of crime. I guess if we just keep them distracted they’ll stay off the streets.

    • Cid Campeador

      They are barren of the most elemental human traits.

  • MekongDelta69

    The researchers don’t take sides in that debate, but instead argue that at least while people are viewing such media, they are not in a position to hurt society.

    To borrow a phrase from the younger generation again… Well, duuuuuuuhhhh

    THIS is what passes for a Doctoral Thesis these days on College campuses Brainwashing Indoctrination Centers.

    Le’Genius Wisdom…

    • kikz2

      i’m kind surprised the article didn’t go into the obvious and ‘systematiK’ oppression of blacks for distracting them from committing violent crimes against evil YT…….

  • Tom Thumb

    I despise these dumb sports. They’re taking over peoples lives. I was at a funeral recently and there was a giant floral arrangement of a Giants football helmet. The deceased was a NY Giants fan. Sick to have such a thing at a man’s funeral. Watching a child’s game was that important to a grown man? Lord help us.

    • Ahnenerbe ᛟ

      Especially since football teams has become a bunch of uncouth monkeys

    • Cid Campeador

      NCAA and Professional Basketball and Football are the new opiates of the White people.
      They ( Whites) are the main source of financial support for these events that are made up of a majority of Afros and will soon be totally Afro. They’re so involved with these farces that they won’t notice the enemy sneaking up on them.

    • RyanP

      I agree. I do watch sports sometimes. But I cannot stand the idiotic worship of teams.

      • kikz2

        it’s that old.. us against them theme.. just like in politicKs….. rah f*k’n rah! bread and circuses.

      • r j p

        Us against them …. we being people in the stands?
        I have never understood that.
        If I am not on the field with “us” I am not part of the team.

    • r j p

      Wearing another man’s name on your back is as pathetic as a man can get.

      • shmo123

        And paying 150 bucks for it is even more ridiculous.

    • newscomments70

      I basically agree. Athletes on TV should be an inspiration to do similar, and not an invitation to die a slow death at the bar or in the LA-Z-Boy.. I like to watch MMA, hockey or sometimes baseball before I go to the gym. It’s also good to pass the time while I’m having something to eat at a restaurant. (It’s certainly better than America’s best idol or whatever.) Too many “super fans” are permanent spectators, settled in their chairs, getting fat, drunk, and old. And of course there are the tailgate parties and superbowl parties…people getting fat and drunk, screaming at the TV and field. They become so verbal about plays and stats…and say things like “We won”, or “we lost that one”, etc. We????

  • Give simple-minded Negroes a set of tinker toys to play with and maybe crime would drop permanently. Any maybe not. They wouldn’t know what to do with tinker toys.

    Bill Clinton’s “midnight basketball” idiocy was reasoned along the same lines as this research. The problem with this approach is that the blacks will KILL each other over a basketball, or a foul.

    BTW, since I used to be a professor, let me add that I’ll bet that after the game, during the next day or two, the crime rate goes ABOVE NORMAL. Crime isn’t reduced by the games. It’s just moved back a few hours or a few days.

    • Ball games as a time shift for tribal energy…me likey.

      Don’t laugh at midnight basketball. I was well on my way to becoming a thug, a murdering dope dealer. Then I saw this place where I could play a basketball game at midnight, and that made all the difference. That and that alone is what convinced me to go to college and major in business esp. accounting.

    • Cid Campeador

      “The problem with this approach is that the blacks will KILL each other over a basketball, or a foul.”

      Nature’s way of haulin’ out the trash.

    • newscomments70

      “Give simple-minded Negroes a set of tinker toys to play with and maybe crime would drop permanently. Any maybe not. They wouldn’t know what to do with tinker toys.” I would say maybe not…in most cases. Tinker toys, erector sets, etc were meant for intelligent boys to build and create structures thus developing skills for adult life. If you watch nostalgia commercials on youtube, you will see white children in the 1960s playing with these items. It’s a nice image, but very sad to be reminded of what has been lost.

      “The problem with this approach is that the blacks will KILL each other over a basketball, or a foul.” I used to live in LA. When the Lakers lost, the “youths” would burn cars and overturn parked outside of the stadium. When the Lakers won, the “youths” would burn and overturn cars parked outside of the stadium.

      • MBlanc46

        Dang, I wish I had my erector set back.

        • newscomments70

          I remember building a crane and a skyscraper.

          • MBlanc46

            Ferris wheels. Robots. They were wonderful, but to simple for the modern child, I suppose.

          • newscomments70

            I imagine the mindless video games are too hypnotic for them. Why make an effort to read or build when they can live in this fantasy world. I was in the local library yesterday. I walked past the children’s section. It had become a lounge for the homeless drug addicts (perhaps another reason why the kids don’t read anymore). I picked up one of the “Hardy Boys” mystery novels and read a few pages. It was somewhat corny, but it was a beautiful remnant of American youth culture. One can only imagine that library, 30-40 years ago, when humans still frequented it.

  • r j p

    So a Superbowl a Day keeps the crime away?.
    What they fail to mention is that increases right after the events end.

    It doesn’t go down during Blackhawks (NHL) playoff games though. I thought it would be a good times to go to the supermarket. I was wrong.
    Every young buck within a two or three mile radius was patrolling my neighborhood looking for “opportunity”.

    • Silly rabbit, blacks don’t watch hockey.

      • r j p

        This could be a psychological thing.
        I doubt they like seeing a major little player in the game (the little black puck) be slapped the be’jeezus out of by White boys?

  • Cid Campeador

    Stop Black youth crime in America! Expand the NBA & NFL to 50,000 teams each.

    • Einsatzgrenadier

      Give a bunch of white men a noose and a few Klan robes and they’ll reduce black-on-white crime to almost zero.

  • Dave West

    What point is this author even trying to make. Anytime black people are less likely to be roaming the streets, crime is less likely to happen.

  • Matt Turner

    The crime rate drops because the Bears and Bulls affleats are on the court or field and not out on the street.

    • r j p

      And also when the Cubs are playing because Wrigleyville (Boystown West) is so congested that thugs can’t escape. So little crime there.
      White Sox play in the ghetto and nobody attends. So no crime there.

  • Katherine McChesney

    Sounds like the fans are the culprits.

  • RyanP

    I noticed they did not mention the Chicago Blackhawks games. I wonder if the crime goes down when all those hockey fans are busy watching the game.

    • Cid Campeador

      LOL!! Isn’t it racist that Blacks don’t patronize hockey due to the very small number of Blacks who play it?
      Whites flock to NFL & NBA games that are pretty much dominated by Blacks.
      GOD We’re stupid!!
      While Whites are either in attendance at these events or watching them on the “Idiots Lamp” as an old professor of mine characterized TV, Blacks are out there beating, raping and murdering White folks.

  • IstvanIN

    The Super Bowl happens during very cold weather.

  • Alexandra1973

    Wait a minute, isn’t that supposed to be when instances of wife-beating go up?

    (Not that I believe that….)

    • r j p

      Yes, but the beating doesn’t occur until after the game is over.

    • Cid Campeador

      Wives? What wives?

  • StillModerated

    How much does crime drop when “chop sockey” and kung fu movies are being broadcast?

  • kikz2

    it was sublime when Sagan was on it……..

  • Truth Teller

    Law enforcement noticed this around 1955. Crime in Chicago drops during the winter because it is too cold to lie in wait outside. Crime also drops during the cold fall and spring rains. I often tell people that the Boys & Girls Clubs and all the activities for black spawn contributes to juvenile crime because they are outside in packs. What cuts down juvenile and adult crime is TV which keeps them inside glued to the tube. A good way to cut down black crime is to provide every black family with 500 channels, netflx a library of DVDs and a recliner for every person in the house.

  • kikz2

    because it didn’t have cartoons, and the show’s fact checkers did their job much better than the new crew…. inaccuracies abounded in the first show concerning Bruno.

  • MBlanc46

    It’s after the big game, especially if the home team wins, that the rioting and burning and looting start.