ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A new study found one in 12 baseball fans is getting drunk at big league parks. That means a lot of unruly fans and a lot of drunk drivers. But managers at the Albuquerque Isotopes ballpark said their priority is to catch drunk fans before they leave.
"Alcohol and serving alcohol responsibly is probably our No. 1 priority," said Jay Satenspiel, General Manager of Ovation Food Services at Isotopes Park.
The Isotopes play in front of 8,500 fans on an average night. From a crowd of that size, researchers at the University of Minnesota estimate nearly 700 people leave the game drunk. The study also found that 75 percent of people who appeared drunk at major league parks were still served alcohol.
But Satenspiel said the Isotopes have strict policies in place to prevent drunkenness and rowdiness. For one, fans can't buy more than two drinks at a time.
"If that person was just in line and bought two beers, for example, went back and handed that down and came back, our servers are trained to ask, ‘Hey, we just served you two beers,'" said Satenspiel.
Drinks also aren't served after the seventh inning stretch. Managers said undercover officers constantly patrol the crowded concourse to spot any sneaky behavior.
"You want to make sure it's not being passed off to underage drinkers," said Isotopes General Manager John Traub. "You want to make sure photo IDs are not forged."
Ushers and ticket-takers monitor fans as they exit the gates, looking for anyone who shouldn't be driving. They'll even offer to call people cabs, according to an Isotopes spokesperson.
Traub also said his club will never offer promotions like discount beer nights or Thirsty Thursdays.
"From my perspective, that's not a responsible way to run your business," said Traub.
That being said, managers said enjoying a bratwurst and beer at the ballpark is part of America's favorite pastime.
"We are a family-friendly environment," said Traub.
Traub said the Isotopes need to escort the occasional rowdy fan out of the game, but it happens only a handful of times a year.
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