Home News Beer sales expanded to 8th inning for some MLB teams as games speed up

Beer sales expanded to 8th inning for some MLB teams as games speed up

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Get your (late-inning) beer here!

Major League Baseball’s new pitch clock has sped up the action on the field this season — but it’s also left fans with a shorter window for guzzling beer.

The new rules and faster games have prompted at least four teams to extend alcohol sales through the eighth inning.

MLB does not tell teams when to start drying out their fans, but most teams traditionally cut them off during the seventh-inning stretch, to discourage drunk driving.

This year, however, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins and, fittingly, the Milwaukee Brewers have all gone to bat for the late-inning beer drinker and booze tippler.

“Totally makes sense to me,” said Tom Lienhardt, who was sipping on a beer Tuesday night before the Brewers-Diamondbacks game at Chase Field in Phoenix.

“Since the games are shorter, you’ve got to adjust.”

Other teams like the Miami Marlins and New York Mets are still cutting fans off in the seventh — though haven’t ruled out making changes — even though the average ballgame now clocks in at 2 hours and 38 minutes, down from 3 hours and 11 minutes at the beginning of last season.


Nothing like a cold one at the ballpark — which some MLB fans can now enjoy well into the late stages of the game.
AP

Long time beer vendor Rocco Caputo sells Goose Island products during a game between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field on August 23, 2022 in Chicago
Long-time beer vendor Rocco Caputo sells Goose Island products during a game between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field on August 23, 2022, in Chicago.
Getty Images

The Brewers’ president of business operations Rick Schlesinger said the new rules were an experiment.

“If it turns out that this is causing an issue or we feel that it might cause an issue, then we’ll revert to what we have done previously,” Schlesinger said.

The Rangers had already allowed some eighth-inning booze sales last year, but the new decision to allow in-seat beer service to thirsty fans who can order on their phones was meant to prevent them from missing pivotal late-game action while in line at the concession stand, officials said.

It was unclear how the expanded beer sales would affect the fan experience. Many stadiums already have bars and restaurants connected to the stadium where determined drinkers could get a final nip late in the game.


Beer and snacks for sale at the Nationals' home opener.
Beer and snacks for sale at the Nationals’ home opener.
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The pitch clock was tested out in the minors last season, and at least one general manager — Kevin Mahoney of the Class A Brooklyn Cyclones — said the faster games did not affect beer sales.

Even staunch opponents of drunk driving were taking a wait-and-see approach.

“If it cuts off sales in the seventh inning, the eighth inning or the ninth inning, that really doesn’t affect our stance because regardless, we just don’t want people to drink alcohol and then drive home from the game,” said Erin Payton, regional executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

With Post wires

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