This season promises to be an exciting one for your (and my) Arizona Diamondbacks. If the early results continue, the Diamondbacks may make a strong push for the playoffs and maybe even win their division. That’s a very good thing!
But I have an issue—a serious one—with a decision you have recently made. You (and you’re not alone) have decided to extend alcohol sales at home baseball games until the eighth inning. Traditionally, most teams (including the Diamondbacks) stopped selling alcohol by the seventh inning. The reason was clear. It was to give fans a chance to “sober up” before they left the stadium so that they wouldn’t drive drunk.
I understand why you have made this change.
New rules in Major League Baseball have sped up the game and that has had a direct impact on concession sales. When fans are in the stadium for shorter periods, they have less time to purchase concessions. If you extend the amount of time that you can sell alcohol, that means that you can make more money.
I understand that it is a good for the bottom line, but it’s a lousy reason to do something that could lead to more drunk drivers on the road.
Drunk driving remains one of the greatest causes of preventable deaths in our country. 11,654 people died nationwide in alcohol related car accidents in 2020, a 14% increase over 2019.
I would like to ask you to return to your policy of shutting off alcohol sales at the end of the seventh inning. Better yet (since games are shorter), it might be smart to do so at the end of the sixth inning. You will probably make less money, but it is the responsible thing to do. I know that you will do all that you can to sell souvenirs, jerseys, sodas, hot dogs, and the many other concessions at Chase field. I usually buy something when I’m there. But please stop selling alcohol after the seventh inning to reduce the chances of drunk driving.
I don’t want to demonize you in any way. Your team and your charitable foundation have done some incredible things to make the Phoenix area more livable. You have donated significant amounts of money to combat homelessness and to support children’s healthcare. You have built or refurbished dozens of baseball and softball fields. And when I looked at your website, I realized that you have done much more than I ever knew. I applaud you for that!
But to reduce the chances of Diamondback fans driving drunk, please restrict alcohol sales near the end of the game.
It’s the responsible thing to do.