ATLANTA — ATLANTA—As the Atlanta Braves continue to work their way toward another playoff spot, some fans wonder about the starting times for Major League Games.

Braves fan Natasha Dedeaux asked 11Alive’s Why Guy, “Why do Major League baseball games start at such odd times?”

It all depends on the team. With some, you’ll find the first pitch at 7:20 p.m. With others, it’s 8:15. Still others start games at :05 after the hour.

“Clubs have the latitude to determine when to start their home games,” Matt Gould, spokesperson for Major League Baseball said. Some clugs have based their home game times on traffic patterns, weather considerations, or marketing.”

Beth Marshall, spokesperson for the Braves, said television broadcasters need time at the top of the hour before the game starts. Commentators set up the game, introduce the players, and cover any pre-game activities.

Then there’s traffic.

“When we moved into SunTrust Park, we had a big transportation plan in place,” Marshall said. “We wanted to make coming to games as easy as possible and pushed back our starting times from 7:10 to 7:35.”

After a few years, the team noticed traffic around the park eases earlier than predicted so games now start a little earlier, at 7:20.

Sunday games are typically earlier than they are the rest of the week. For the Braves it’s 1:20 p.m.

Promotions can also play a role.

For several years, the Chicago White Sox started games at 7:11 p.m., due to a sponsorship deal with 711.

The Toronto Blue Jays begin games at :07 after the hour to allow time for the playing of the American and Canadian National Anthem.


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