Milwaukee Brewers fans get interrupted again in the seventh inning.
The Brewers announced Monday that liquor sales would end at the end of the seventh inning of home games, reversing course following a decision in April to extend the sales window to the eighth. The reason given for the reversal isn’t oversupply fans — it’s delayed late-game sales.
The Brewers were one of five teams, along with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers, to extend alcohol sales past the traditional seventh-inning cutoff this season. The seventh inning policy is not mandated by MLB, but has been the norm at most MLB baseball parks.
With the newly introduced pitch clock reducing approximately 26 minutes of game breaks — and with it the time to sell liquor — some teams looked for ways to recoup those lost concession sales by extending the window an additional inning.
Brewers spokesman Tyler Barnes told MLB.com Monday that alcohol sales in the eighth inning did not justify the extended window. He also said the team didn’t see any serious behavioral issues due to the expanded sales.
“We have two homestands under our belts and there haven’t been any serious issues with general behavior related to the extended sales,” Barnes said. “But we found that the time we increased is an average of 15 minutes longer.
“Because it’s late in the game selling liquor and all the concessions falls off a cliff once you get to the eighth inning. The amount of sales we saw just wasn’t significant.”
The original decision was criticized because expanded sales would increase the risk of alcohol-related incidents and encourage fans to drive home drunk from stadiums. Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Matt Strahm voiced these concerns on the Baseball is’t Boring podcast in April.
“The reason we quit [selling alcohol in] The seventh before that should give our fans time to sober up and drive home safely, right?” said Strahm. “So now with a faster game – and I’m just a common sense man – if the game comes to an end faster we wouldn’t move the beer sale back to the sixth inning to give our fans time to sober up and after.” to drive home?
“Instead we’re going to the eighth, and now you’re risking our fans and our family by going home with people who just had beers 22 minutes ago.”
No other teams that have expanded beer sales have addressed the impact on sales or otherwise since the change was implemented.