People Transitioning Across Places: A Multimethod Investigation of How People Go to Football Games

R. Barry Ruback, Robert T. Collins, Sarah Koon-Magnin, Weina Ge, Luke Bonkiewicz, Clifford E. Lutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Stokols and Shumaker suggested that places can be characterized in terms of whether they are occupied primarily by individuals, aggregates, or groups. The authors propose a fourth type of place, one occupied primarily by groups within an aggregate. This research used a multimethod approach to examine whether people go to football games alone or with others and, if with others, how many others. Observations of cars entering parking lots or parking decks indicated that on average each vehicle contained about 2.5 individuals. Surveys of individuals about to enter the stadium also indicated that on average people were in groups of about four. Computer vision tracking of pedestrians next to the stadium about 2 hr before the game indicated that, although about one quarter of the pedestrians were alone, groups averaged about four. Thus, the results suggested that informal groups became larger as a function of proximity to the stadium. Analyses of the space occupied by groups of different sizes indicated that as groups got larger, the amount of space per person got smaller. These results, which indicate that people go to football games in small groups, have implications for the built environment and security.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-266
Number of pages28
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science


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