Baseball and beer: an analysis of alcohol consumption patterns among male spectators at major-league sporting events

Ann Emerg Med. 1998 May;31(5):629-32. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(98)70209-4.


Study objective: Examination of alcohol consumption patterns of male spectators at two major-league baseball stadiums.

Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted at two stadiums over the course of three games at each venue. We approached 1,084 male spectators of drinking age in a consecutive fashion at two junctures: at the entrance gate and during the fifth inning inside the stadium's concourse. Of those approached, 747 (68.9%) participated. After verbal consent, participants completed a questionnaire and blew into a breath analyzer. The results were blinded and later analyzed.

Results: Forty-one percent of all participants tested positive for alcohol. The highest consumption occurred in the 20- to 35-year-old age group. In this age group, 50.8% had consumed some alcohol, and 10.8% had a blood alcohol level of .08% (intoxicated) or higher. Almost 5% of all participants tested during the fifth inning collection were intoxicated and claimed to be driving.

Conclusion: Of the spectators tested, those in the 20- to 35-year-old age group were most likely to have consumed alcohol and to be legally intoxicated. A disturbing number of spectators who had blood alcohol levels of .08% or higher late in the game claimed to be driving home.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Alcohol Drinking / blood
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / blood
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / prevention & control
  • Automobile Driving / statistics & numerical data
  • Baseball / statistics & numerical data*
  • Breath Tests
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Ethanol / blood
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Men*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Ethanol