State approves liquor license for McKale Center

McKale liquor license delayed. (Source: Tucson News Now)
McKale liquor license delayed. (Source: Tucson News Now)
Updated: Mar. 15, 2018 at 6:30 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Let the beer, and wine, flow.

On Thursday, March 15, a state board unanimously approved a liquor license for the University of Arizona's McKale Center.

During the hearing, a UA spokesman said the school would do the following:

  • Hire a third-party vendor with experience in alcohol sales
  • Hire or assign additional security to monitor the facility as well as the parking lots
  • Create two places to buy beer and wine on the center's main concourse and no more than four on the upper "patio" level
  • Ensure the liquor is served in plastic cups only
  • End alcohol sales in the second half with about 16 minutes left on the game clock

It has been a longer-than-normal road for UA.

In December 2017, the Tucson City Council approved the license.

The school sent an application to the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control. The board was supposed to decide on the license a few weeks later.

That changed when a Tucson resident filed a protest over the license.

The man said he was worried about the negative impact selling liquor during games could have on the community and university.

He did not show up for the hearing Thursday.

Alcohol is already served at Hi-Corbett Field during Wildcat baseball games and the TCC during UA hockey games.

Arizona Athletics has said it is considering selling alcohol at other athletic venues like Arizona Stadium, but currently there are no plans for venues other than McKale.

Wildcat fans expressed mixed emotions when the license was first announced.

"I just think it's problematic in leaving the stadium where too many people have drank too much. It is a family event." said John Miller.

Others, like Jesus Bernal, said they support the move.

"I would be a hypocrite to tell you no, no alcohol," he said. "It does make enjoying spectator sports that much more fun. You have a little bit of a buzz and that's kind of cool but again the important thing is that the proper measures are taken. I think that it's OK."

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