White Sox fan’s beer consumption used by defense in ticket scam case
By Chip Egan
This past Tuesday, a ticket broker was sentenced to a year and a half of prison time following his conviction in a scam of the Chicago White Sox. Bruce Lee was found guilty on several counts of wire fraud last fall in which he was accused of selling over 34,800 illegally obtained tickets between 2016 and 2019 and making more than $868,000 in the process.
While that is certainly a serious offense, one of the more interesting aspects of the case involved part of his defense. At one point, Lee’s attorneys felt the White Sox actually gained from the situation due to the argument that:
"“White Sox fans are the baseball fans that drink the most alcohol at a game.”"
To say that the defense didn’t help his case any is probably true but what is true-according to one outlet is the statement they made. Lee’s lawyers were referencing a survey done by njonlinegambling.com which placed the Sox atop Major League Baseball in fans knocking back cocktails at the ballpark.
The survey was conducted from January 27th to February 17, 2021. Over 2,600 MLB fans from around the country over the age of 21-revealed that Sox fans consume more alcohol on average than any other fan base in the majors. Taking the number one spot gave them the distinction (or embarrassment) of being considered “Baseball’s Booziest Fans.”
The Chicago White Sox has a lot of drinkers show up to their games.
According to the findings, Sox fans consumed an average of four-point two alcoholic beverages per game while spending an average of $46 on booze. The amount spent on drinks ranked third overall behind the New York Mets ($53) and Los Angeles Angels ($49).
In what might be considered a surprise, the number two fan base in alcohol consumption belongs to the World Series champion Atlanta Braves, whose fans knock back four drinks per contest. Philadelphia finished last at 2.4.
Tailgating or hitting a local establishment before a game is a common practice. Of fans classified as “Pregamers”, the survey said 67 percent of southside fans admit to imbibing before a game which put them third behind Toronto (70 percent) and St. Louis (68 percent).
However, being overserved comes with a downside. Sox fans ranked number one in the category of “Biggest Lightweight Drinkers” which is defined as drinking so much that one misses part or all of a game. Sox fans topped everyone at 49 percent.
To call using the survey foolish on the part of the defense would be an understatement. While perhaps not the most scientific study done on the subject, using something like this at all seemed like a reach and might have had people scratching their heads in the courtroom.