Atlanta has a ‘falling fan’ problem

On Saturday night, 60-year-old Gregory Murrey of Alpharetta fell from the Turner Field upper deck and landed on the concrete of the stadium’s lower level, about 50 feet below.

Attempts to revive the man were unsuccessful, and Murrey was pronounced dead at the hospital upon arrival, reported.

This is the third time since 2008 that a fan has fallen several stories to his death at Turner Field. I say “his” because all three were men.

The most recent incident comes nearly three years to the day after a Tennessee fan fell from the upper deck of the Georgia Dome during a game between Tennessee and North Carolina on Aug. 31, 2012. And there was that time in 2012 when two fans fell from the stands at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium in two weeks. They both survived, however.

Needless to say, I think we have a problem in this city that needs to be addressed.

Not all of these fans were drunk at the time of the fall, but several were, including Murrey, authorities and bystanders said. He was belligerent for much of Saturday night’s game, according to fans who were seated near him, and ultimately fell while heckling New York Yankees pinch-hitter Alex Rodriguez.

Public drunkenness isn’t a problem that’s exclusively Atlanta’s, sure. But as a sports fan who frequently attends games downtown (and, soon, in Cobb County when the Braves move), it’s always frightening to think that these plastered fans are on the same roadways as me, driving home at the end of the night.

It should frighten you, too.

Photo: AP/John Bazemore

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