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MLB teams extend beer sales

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MLB teams extend beer sales

POSTED ON: 07/28/2023

Considered America's favorite pastime by many, baseball is a very popular summer activity throughout the country. You might be cheering on your favorite little leaguer, playing the game yourself, or visiting one of the minor league or major league stadiums in North America. For many baseball fans, summer vacations are even planned around MLB schedules. 

Cheers to baseball

Professional baseball continues to provide good, wholesome entertainment to people of all ages year after year. But within this game that sparks joy and positivity for so many Americans is a topic which causes a lot of concern. In addition to the issues too much alcohol can cause during the event (unruly crowds, fan violence, obnoxious outbursts), excessive drinking can also lead to drunk driving accidents and DUI arrests.

Just last year, we published a blog article that discussed the 7th inning stretch. Fans generally stand up and stretch out their arms and legs and sometimes walk around. It is a popular time to get a late-game snack or an alcoholic beverage. Did you know this was largely because alcohol sales traditionally ceased after the last out of the seventh inning?...but not anymore! 

Changes to MLB policies have led to changes in team alcohol sales policies

In 2023, the MLB made several policy changes. One of those changes was the implementation of a pitch timer. This change has brought changes to alcohol service policies at many MLB stadiums.

HUH? How does a pitch timer affect alcohol sales?

Alcohol service at professional sporting events has been a hot topic for years. Many facilities have implemented alcohol control policies such as stopping alcohol service at a certain point to allow time to sober up, training staff to recognize signs of intoxication and to stop serving those individuals, and other practices aimed at limiting the effects excessive amounts of alcohol can have.

With the new pitch timer comes shorter games. The pitch timer basically reduces the average time of games by approximately 30 minutes. Since games are now shorter, that means it gives fans less time to grab a beer or alcoholic beverage at the concession stand. In response to this, many teams have extended alcohol sales through the end of the eighth inning. So does that mean policies aimed at protecting fan safety are being changed just to make more money?! (gasp!) 

Not everyone is thrilled with this change. CNN discussed how Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Matt Strahm disagrees with this change due to safety reasons. “Just using common sense, we stopped it in the seventh for the safety of fans and people getting home. It just makes no sense to me that you’re going to allow it to the eighth inning,” Strahm said on the “Baseball Isn’t Boring” podcast. “The reason we stopped [selling alcohol] in the seventh before was to give our fans time to sober up and drive home safe, correct?” Strahm asked why ending beer sales in the sixth inning wouldn’t be better in the new era of faster-paced games. “Instead, we’re going to the eighth, and now you’re putting our fans and our family at risk driving home with people who have just drank beers 22 minutes ago,” he said.

Have a ball but drive safely

It seems to be tough for professional sports teams to find a balance between allowing a good time by serving alcohol to fans of legal age and limiting the problems caused when some of these fans go too far. Like with anything else in life, too much of anything can be a really bad thing. We're not here to tell you drinking is bad, not during sporting events or at any other times. We've all certainly enjoyed a couple drinks at a baseball game. But if your ability to limit your drinking when you'll be driving isn't the greatest, we might be the MVP. Our ignition interlock products can be installed voluntarily or following things like a court order or DUI. Reach out to us at or email us at to find out how we can help coach you to sober driving.

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