No beer, (hopefully) no problems!
In December, the Tucson City Council approved the center’s liquor license. The school then submitted an application to the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control. The ADLLC was meant to provide a decision on the license within a few weeks. If approved, Wildcat fans would have been purchase beer and wine during home games this season.
That all changed following a one-page complaint filed by Tucson resident James Bly,a former administrative law judge for ADOT. In his letter, Bly explains his concerns over the negative impact selling liquor during games could have on the university and community.
“I am concerned that selling liquor at athletic events at the University of Arizona will result in more crowd violence, the sale of liquor to minors, and the possibility of lawsuits against the university if a fan at a game is impaired and is in an automobile accident after the game and injures someone,” Bly wrote in his complaint.
The earliest possible date for a hearing with the state liquor board is March 1. Even if the hearing did happen that day and the license was approved, there is no feasible way the McKale Center could prepare to serve alcohol in time for the Wildcats’ last home game on March 3.
University of Arizona officials have spoken publicly about wanting to give fans a better experience. There are no current plans for alcohol sales at other U of A venues. Alcohol is already served at Hi-Corbett Field during UA baseball games, but the field and liquor license are owned by the City of Tucson.