KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals opened a homestand Friday against the Atlanta Braves that also ushered in a new era for fans who like to enjoy a beer or two at the game.
Games are going faster this year, so some teams including the Royals are making changes to alcohol policies, extending sales through the bottom of the 8th inning.
People come out to Kauffman for different reasons. For some it’s all about baseball.
“I’m old school baseball and I’m totally opposed to any kind of a clock,” said one fan.
But for others it’s about the experience, that may involve tailgating and then enjoying some of your favorite concessions inside.
In an effort to appeal to casual fans and TV audiences Major League Baseball instituted a pitch clock this season that’s sped up games as much as 30 minutes. But that’s meant 30 minutes less to buy alcohol. So the Royals joined a handful of teams in extending sales through the bottom of the 8th inning. Previously it’d been the 7th inning.
“Give people a little time to sober up get a little water in them we’ve got a lot of highways around here and it’s pretty coming out of the stadium at night,” Brian Payne said.
We asked fans what they thought of the change.
“More power to me I guess because I’m a beer drinker that’s awesome. I can’t wait,” Jake Dart said.
“Royals game are very family friendly and I don’t think the increased change for the alcohol and the pitch clock, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. It may be five minutes, it may be 30 minutes, but it’s never been a problem for alcohol around the family at Royals games,” Brad Lancaster said.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Kansas City Police have encouraged fans to drink responsibly and have a designated driver.
“I hope it works out I can see the gains for the Royals but hopefully it doesn’t cause more accidents on the highway leaving,” Payne said.
“I think the potential is there. I know some people don’t drink beyond the 7th inning but it certainly opens the door for the ones that want to,” Gaede said.
The Royals say they reserve the right to evaluate the decision at any time and make any necessary changes.