The Jacksonville Jaguars tried to increase their tepid attendance last week by offering the chance to get free beverages — including beer — with a ticket purchase for Sunday’s home game against Indianapolis.
The Mothers Against Drunk Driving advocacy group hopes the Jaguars and other NFL franchises don’t make this a regular practice with alcoholic beverages.
“MADD partners with the NFL to promote a safe fan experience. However, we’re concerned that the recent Jaguars promotion may run counter to those efforts,” MADD spokesman Anna Duerr told FOX Sports in a Sunday email.
“Research indicates that reducing the price of alcohol leads to increased consumption, intoxication and drunk driving. Some states even ban the distribution of free alcoholic beverages as a part of their dedication to responsible serving practices. It’s our sincere hope that other teams don’t duplicate similar promotions.”
On their Twitter account last Thursday, the Jaguars announced a three-hour sale in which fans who purchased tickets worth $45 or more would receive vouchers for two free beverages. The tweet included the line, “#DrinksOnUs from @BudLight.”
Jaguars spokesman Dan Edwards told FOX Sports after Sunday’s game that he didn’t believe the team would be offering this kind of promotion again. He described the sales that the free-drink promotion generated as “OK” but didn’t provide specifics.
“It was planned that this was a limited one-time promotion that occurred for three hours on one day and that was it,” Edwards said. “It was for two coupons for beverages in the stadium. That’s what the promotion was.”
The NFL has taken steps to try to curb drunken driving among its fans by partnering at games with MADD. However, Duerr said the Jaguars are one of the franchises with whom MADD has no affiliation.
The Jaguars do have an alcohol policy listed on their website reminding fans that drunken driving is illegal. The Jaguars sell alcoholic beverages through the first three quarters of non-night games and end sales at the end of halftime for night contests.