The Stadium Sports Bar and Grill, 148 State St., had to answer today to a series of police complaints about alleged fights and overcrowding on four separate occasions in June and July.
At a Boston Licensing Board hearing, its lawyer played the usual downtown-bar gambit - that any problems on State Street at closing were not its fault but the fault of other nearby bars.
But for one of the incidents, a large unruly crowd early on July 5, he made another argument: The crowd was not at all that bad until a group of BPD Youth Violence Strike Force detectives arrived with a camera crew from Donnie Wahlberg's "Boston Finest" reality show.
"The crowd appears to have become excited by the fact that 'Boston's Finest' was being filmed," he said, adding many of the people outside recognized the detectives from their appearances on last season's episodes of the show. He said that Stadium security staff wouldn't let the video crew inside the bar, and that the strike-force detectives went inside and were very friendly with patrons, even to the point of high-fiving them.
But then one patron got unruly and was ejected - with police help. When the detectives exited with him, the camera crew picked up their cameras, turned them on and the crowd was set off, he said.
Det. Arthur Brewster, who is not a member of the strike force, painted a different picture. He said detectives heard that a large number of gang members were congregating that night at the bar and that the crowd had gotten so out of hand that District A-1 officers were overwhelmed and that officers from other districts across the city had to be called in to disperse the crowd.
The board, whose chairwoman Nicole Murati Ferrer accused a former employee of lying to police about another incident, decides Thursday what action, if any, to take about the incidents.