The San Diego Union Tribune ran a groundbreaking article this weekend.
Turns out that not only is the beer being sold at ballparks a ripoff (20 oz. beers at Petco park sell for $ 8.50) but THE BEER IS INTENTIONALLY DILUTED. The paper discovered the Padres are selling low alcohol 3.2 beer to its customers. (Most beer is 4 percent alcohol by weight.) 3.2 beer was actually developed before the Depression as a means of appeasing prohibitionists.
The Padres are not required to divulge the alcohol content of the beer they sell.
When confronted by the newspaper, the Padres not only admitted the ripoff but concede THEY’VE BEEN DOING IT FOR YEARS. The San Diego paper found out:
Padres officials say lower-alcohol beer, like higher prices, is part of an “alcohol management plan,” meant to keep fans from overindulging. They also say it’s common practice in the sports industry and hardly limited to Petco.
GREAT! I’d feel lots better if EVERY ballpark was ripping off fans.
And while the Padres are sticking to the “public safety” argument, MONEY is probably the bottom line. The difference in cost for the low alcohol beer is 32 percent. A keg of Budweiser Select goes for $76, according to California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control records. The 3.2 percent version of Bud Select runs $52.
The Union Tribune interviewed a couple of consumer advocates for the story. The first COMPARED BASEBALL TO OIL COMPANIES in its efforts to gouge the public. The second from a Santa Monica based consumer watchdog group said,
“It’s just another example of companies fleecing the public,” Consumers are facing higher prices not only for necessities such as gasoline and food, but also while enjoying a simple baseball game, he said. “Where does it end?”
The consumer advocate recommended fans lodge complaints with any team that is selling the watered down beer.