The Tucson Padres took a called third strike on plans to boost their last-in-the-league attendance with a little extra alcohol.
After a complaint from Pima County, which owns Kino Stadium, team officials decided eight drinks in nine innings isn't such a good idea after all.
The Padres were running a promotional event to buy a $15 wristband to get admission to tonight's game plus eight alcoholic drinks, promoted with ads featuring a seemingly drunk monk crawling the base paths.
Deputy County Administrator Hank Atha said the first priority is making sure fans end up safe at home after the game.
"We just think that offering free alcohol in quantity over a short time is not a good idea in a public stadium like that, or any place for that matter," Atha said.
After talking with county officials, Padres general manager Mike Feder agreed to change tonight's Kino Krawl. Instead, the new offer tonight is $2 and $3 drink specials.
"We just felt the offer of the ticket and the eight drinks didn't look as good as it needed to," Feder said.
The original advertising for the event showed a robed padre on his hands and knees with bleary eyes and his tongue hanging out.
The Padres are averaging 2,687 fans a game. That's 1,500 fewer fans per game than the next-lowest club, the Tacoma Rainiers, and less than half of what the remaining 14 teams bring in.
Darrell Durham, Arizona Daily Star market-development director, said he questioned Feder on the ad that ran in the newspaper Wednesday because "that's a lot of drinks to give somebody in one nine-inning ball game."
By Thursday, the event and the ads had been changed to be more like the team's popular Thirsty Thursday events.
The team also sent a personal note, information about the new offer and a voucher for a free game ticket to 50 fans who had bought advance tickets, Feder said.
"We understand we have a social responsibility," Feder said.
The team has an agreement with Yellow Cab, free sodas for designated drivers and a 9 p.m. alcohol cutoff, he said.
Besides drink specials, the team also offers many family-oriented events, including a Zooperstars mascot show and fireworks on Saturday and special games for military families and dog lovers on Sunday.
"We don't want to be perceived as something that's (about) drinking all the time," Feder said.
Contact reporter Becky Pallack at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4346.