No Beer for Rest of Season at McKale Center

No Beer for Rest of Season at McKale Center
SANTA ROSA, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Freshly poured glasses of Russian River Brewing Company Pliny the Younger triple IPA beer sit on a counter at Russian River Brewing Company on February 7, 2014 in Santa Rosa, California. Hundreds of people lined up hours before the opening of Russian River Brewing Co. to taste the 10th annual release of the wildly popular Pliny the Younger triple IPA beer that will only be available on tap from February 7th through February 20th. Craft beer aficionados rank Pliny the Younger as one of the top beers in the world. The craft beer sector of the beverage industry has grown from being a niche market into a fast growing 12 billion dollar business, as global breweries continue to purchase smaller regional craft breweries such this week's purchase of New York's Blue Point Brewing by AB Inbev. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

No beer, (hopefully) no problems!

The McKale Center, home to University of Arizona basketball games, will not be able to sell beer or wine this season after all.

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.

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