The Johnson City Commission is expected to vote on beer sales at Cardinal Park when they meet tonight. The request comes from the Johnson City Sports Foundation, which manages the minor league team’s operations at the city-owned ballpark.
If the beer permit is approved, this would be the second time the foundation has given selling suds at the Cardinals’ home games a try. Less than a decade ago, the foundation decided selling beer at the ballpark wasn’t worth the headaches. Foundation officials say the revenues collected from beer sales were not enough to offset liability and vending costs, not to mention all the complaints they got from parents and church groups who argued selling beer took away from the wholesome “family” atmosphere of watching an Appalachian League game at Cardinal Park.
Since that time, however, other Appy League ballparks have turned to beer sales to generate revenue. Teams in nearby Kingsport, Greeneville and Bristol, Va., are now selling beer.
“We’ve had so many requests from customers that we started working toward this,” foundation President Lee Sowers told Press staff writer Gary B. Gray last week. “We took our time to make sure our sponsors were OK with it. But yes, it will be added to our menu just like a turkey leg. We won’t be advertising this, and we’re going to be very low key about it.”
Cardinals General Manager Tyler Parsons said there will be no “beer-hawking,” or vendors walking through the stands selling beer during the Appy League games. He also said there will be no beer sold in Cardinal Park on Sundays or Wednesdays, which are traditional church days for some local residents.
We’d like to hear from you. Should the city allow beer to be sold at Cardinal Park?
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