KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Major League Baseball added a pitch clock to shorten game times, but the length of games isn’t the only change coming from the clock.
Fans will now be able to get a beer later in games at Kauffman Stadium and a handful of other ballparks, if they choose.
The Kansas City Royals joined at least four other MLB teams and changed the alcohol policy at the majority of concession stands throughout Kauffman Stadium.
Fans are now allowed to buy alcohol through the bottom of the eighth inning. Prior to this season, alcohol sales ended at the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Royals reserve the right to evaluate the decision at any time and make any necessary changes.
The change is because games are being played so much faster with the pitch clock.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers have also extended beer sales into the eighth inning this season, according to the Associated Press.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said last year the pitch clock is designed to give games a “better pace.” Under the new rule, pitchers are required to start the throwing motion within 15 seconds of each pitch when the bases are empty and 20 seconds when there are runners on-base.
Meanwhile, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Kansas City police are both encouraging fans to make sure they don’t drink and drive just because they have one more inning for a drink.
“We would hope that sports fans would be responsible when deciding to drive after consuming any intoxicating substances,” a spokesperson for KCPD said.
A spokesperson for MADD said drunk driving deaths have increased. Every 39 minutes there’s a drunk driving fatality in the United States, said Jerod Breit, the regional director for MADD.
He doesn’t want to see more drunk drivers on the road with this change and is encouraging Royals fans to make a plan.
“Even before you buy your ticket, what’s your plan? Do you have a designated driver? If not, are you using rideshare?” Breit said.
He said MADD would love to have more conversations with the Royals so they can reduce the number of drunk driving incidents.