After shortening the length of innings, some Major League Baseball teams are opting to extend the period of alcohol sales through the eighth inning.
While most teams are continuing the standing prohibition of alcohol sales by the eighth inning, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, and Milwaukee Brewers have all decided to permit the sale of alcohol beyond the seventh inning.
According to President of business operations Rick Schlesinger, the Milwaukee Brewers made the change on an experimental basis.
“This is [reflective] of the fact that the games are shorter. From a time perspective, we’re probably looking at selling beer for the same amount of time by extending to the eighth inning that we did last year through the seventh,” Schlesinger explained.
He went on to note, “Obviously, the safety and the conduct of our fans has primacy. We’ve had no issues, but it’s a small sample size and we’re going to continue to test it and see if it makes sense. I know a number of other teams are doing the same thing.”
Although many MLB games have exceeded three hours in the past, the Brewers’ first six games against the Cubs and Mets averaged two hours and 34 minutes. With this being said, he wants fans to be able to enjoy a cold one for the same amount of time they would be able to in prior years.
Rick Schlesinger of the Milwaukee Brewers says alcohol-related misbehavior will give a reason for a ‘revisit’ of the rule.
However, if alcohol-related misbehaviors become more prevalent throughout the innings, Schlesinger is confident in the teams’ ability to reinstate the rule against eighth-inning drinks.
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“I’m comfortable that our people are going to be monitoring the situation well and making sure that people who shouldn’t be served won’t be served, regardless of what inning it is,” Schlesinger said. “The vast majority of fans behave responsibly. In fact, I will tell you because I get the data, that the number of incidents of misbehavior with alcohol are down. I think people have more sensitivity and awareness.”
“But again, if we see some concerns, safety is No. 1 and we’ll revisit it. 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,” he added, emphasizing the safety of Major League Baseball fans attending games.
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