Padres Decide to Ban Beer in the Clubhouse

Times Staff Writer

Padre fans aren’t the only ones who must go on the wagon at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium from now on.

Fans have not been able to purchase beer after the seventh inning since last season. And now, players will not be able to have a beer in the stadium’s clubhouses--at any time.

Ballard Smith, Padre team president, issued a memorandum Thursday stating that beer no longer will be available in any working area of the stadium. Prohibited areas in addition to the clubhouses are concessionaries’ private areas and the press box.

Fans will still be able to purchase beer, but not after the seventh.


Smith cited liability laws, which would hold the Padres accountable for an accident, as the reason for the new policy.

The clubhouse beer ban, which is not in effect anywhere else in the National League, was met with resistance by the Padres.

“I don’t know what this will accomplish,” said Terry Kennedy, Padre player representative. “The only thing not in the news around here is the baseball team. Everything else takes precedent. First, they talked about drug testing. Now, it’s no beer. They’re the bosses. We don’t like it, but we have to live with it.”

“They might be creating a whole different problem,” Garry Templeton said. “Guys may be leaving the ballpark earlier to get to the bar to have a drink and relax before they go home. It isn’t a matter that they have to have a drink. Some guys use it to relax and cool off in the clubhouse before they go home. . . . It’s not like guys are getting drunk. Most have one or two in the clubhouse, then they go home. That has been part of the game since probably before I was born.”


Manager Steve Boros, also citing liability laws, said the new rule “makes sense.” However, Boros also said the Padres will make beer and wine available on team flights.

Atlanta players expressed opinions similar to the Padre players.

“My guess is that the bars will probably have more business,” first baseman Chris Chambliss said. “Guys who want a beer will just have to head to the bar now. It (the new rule) probably won’t kill anybody.”

Said Bruce Benedict, player representative: “It looks like her (Padre owner Joan Kroc’s) attempt to fight drinking and drugs in pro sports. It’s fine with us. We’re not alcoholics to where we have to have a beer after the game. I’m not so sure you can’t bring in your own six-pack from 7-11. There are ways to get around it.”