Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The Seattle Seahawks are trying to ensure their rivalry with the San Francisco 49ers doesn’t go too far off the field.
When the Seahawks host the 49ers in a National Football League night game on Sept. 15, undercover police officers will be wearing 49ers’ jerseys to quickly detect fans exhibiting “unruly and inconsiderate behavior.”
The Seahawks said the effort will continue through the season, with jerseys changed to match the opponent.
“Our goal is to ensure a safe environment for all in attendance, including visiting-team fans,” team President Peter McLoughlin said in a statement.
The game on NBC is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. on the U.S. West Coast, about 4 1/2 hours later than a normal Sunday afternoon kickoff, allowing fans more time to drink at tailgate parties and neighboring bars and restaurants.
Two fans were shot after a 49ers-Oakland Raiders preseason game at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park in August 2011. The shootings came five months after a San Francisco Giants’ fan, Bryan Stow, was left in a coma following a beating by two men wearing Los Angeles Dodgers gear in the parking lot at Dodger Stadium on the opening day of the Major League Baseball season.
This week’s game marks the Seattle opener for the Seahawks, the only NFL team to go unbeaten at home last season. The Seahawks went 11-5 overall and split their two meetings with the 49ers, who won the National Football Conference’s Western Division at 11-4-1.
Both teams are led by young quarterbacks and coaches who were rivals while coaching in college in the Pac-12 Conference. Both are 6-1 second choices behind the Denver Broncos among oddsmakers to win the Super Bowl.
The Seahawks said their game-day staff intends to provide an environment free of verbal or physical harassment of opposing team’s fans, unruly or disruptive behavior, irresponsible actions caused by intoxication, and abusive language or obscene gestures.
Anyone asked to leave CenturyLink Field for violations of the team’s code of conduct will be required to complete -- and pay the $75 cost of -- a four-hour online course focused on fan behavior before being allowed to return.
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