Ohio State: Alcohol-Related Citations Doubled Last Season

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Just days away from the kickoff of the new football season, Ohio State University officials are saying that the last one saw a sharp increase in alcohol-related citations on game days.

Still, fans are much better behaved than they used to be, said OSU Assistant Police Chief Rick Amweg.

"The home football games have become fun family affairs that are friendlier than ever," he said.

At the seven home games in 2006, 410 tailgaters were cited for open-container violations, more than double the 204 fans cited by state liquor agents the year before.

University and city officials discussed the numbers at a news conference called Tuesday to go over plans for this year's game-day policies.

So many more citations may have been written last year because of later game times that offered more time to party, Amweg said.

Officials speculated that another possible reason was that Ohio State hosted last season's big games against perennial rivals Michigan and Penn State.

At the same time, they stressed that things are much improved since the 2002 Michigan game, when cars and sofas were set afire and police use tear gas against unruly fans.

"The atmosphere on game days has dramatically changed the past few years," Mayor Michael Coleman said.

Ohio State opens its 2007 season at home Saturday against Youngstown State.