According to Sports Illustrated, beer vendors are independent contractors. Barring an event like this pandemic calling the shots, vendors have a hand in how much they earn based on how many games they work. Some vendors sell part-time, only vending at the home games of one team. They can earn roughly $10,000 to $15,000. Others travel to work different events all year round, making it a full-time occupation. They can earn from $75,000 to $100,000.
As Thrillist revealed, seniority also plays a role. More experienced workers get first dibs on what they sell, as well as what part of the stadium they sell it in unless the venue’s sales manager organizes this. Up to 120 workers might be selling at any given game, and the ones doing it longest get to sell the best items from the priciest brands, translating to bigger commissions and better tips.
The games, themselves, tip the scales, too. At day games, vendors can sell through the eighth inning as opposed to the seventh at night games. Good weather bodes well for sales, as does excitement, from team rivalries to neck-and-neck scores. Slate writes that even the kind of sport weighs in: football fans buy more beer than baseball fans.
The main takeaway for this year is that beer vendors’ livelihoods depend on being able to sell to as many fans as possible at as many games as possible. Especially until game schedules can resume normalcy and fill the stands, fans can show their appreciation through tips.