Quicker games resulting in financial loss for Padres

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Credit: San Diego Journal

Coming to the ballpark, watching a game, and enjoying a cold one is America’s pastime.

Generation after generation has indulged in sipping a beer while rooting for their home team. In recent years, the San Diego Padres have built a party-like atmosphere at Petco Park. There are several places to sit back and watch the game on TV in a bar-like setting within the confines of the home ballpark in San Diego.

On top of the great choices when it comes to beverages, the Padres arguably possess the best options in MLB when it comes to dining. Several local restaurants set up shop at Petco Park, and within recent years, the stadium resembles a giant food court with a baseball diamond in the middle.

This excess of dining and drinking boosts the value of the Padres and provides extra income for the franchise. In recent years, the team has utilized these excess funds to help upgrade the roster on the field. The end result is one of the best places in San Diego to be entertained. Major League Baseball is everchanging, and the way to showcase the game is constantly evolving. The Padres have done well to lead the way into what the future of sports entertainment truly will be.

For the 2023 season, MLB issued new rules to speed up the game. The pitch clock has shortened games by an average of over 30 minutes from last year’s game times.

With a shorter time to watch the action, several reports indicate that teams are losing money from beer sales. Especially since beer sales traditionally end in the 7th inning. At least four teams (Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, and Milwaukee Brewers) have extended their beer sales into the 8th inning to help alleviate the loss of revenue. This will be something that virtually every team will do in time.

The Padres have reportedly (via Erik Greupener) extended beer sales from bottom of the 7th inning to the top of the 8th inning with one out. According to Greupner that is as far as the Padres can sell alcohol under the ballpark’s alcohol license.

To some, this can be appalling. Serving alcohol to someone right before they get into their vehicle to drive home could lead to problems all in itself.  Petco Park is a party zone with the Gaslamp District right next door. There is no real way to limit people’s alcohol intake. Selling beer for one extra inning should not be an issue for the Padres, but it will surely help with the loss of income in the shorter games.

If the team will lose close to a million dollars this season in beer sales, imagine what the loss in food and merchandise will be.

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The Padres will need to adapt new methods to serve their fans. In-seat dining is available in some areas, but it is clear the team will need to implement new rules. If a family can sit down and watch a game with their fine dining being brought to them without standing in line for two or three innings, then that is a good thing. Then again, the Padres want you to roam around the Disneyland-like confines of Petco Park and spend your hard-earned money.

Any way you look at it- with over 30 minutes fewer minutes to sell you stuff, every Major League team is losing money. Beer sales, merchandise sales, and concession money do not drive a major league team’s bottom line, but it does hurt if you lose fractions each and every homestand.

Adjusting to these new rules will be difficult, but expect the Padres to think outside the box in order to keep fans in the stadium longer. In recent years, the team has held concerts and events in the ballpark after the game is over. Within these events, the team made extra money on concessions and such. In 2023 and beyond, we will see new ideas presented to the fans. Professional sports teams will not take financial losses without putting up a fight.

1 thought on “Quicker games resulting in financial loss for Padres

  1. I call bull! MLB teams are still making hay. Especially since they have raised to cost of their beers at Petco to nearly $18 a piece and a hot dog to $10! That is the main reason why people are drinking and eating less, not the 30 minutes saved by changing the rules.

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