McKale Center liquor license put on hold until March

McKale Center liquor license put on hold until March
Inside McKale Center. (Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - You probably won't be able to have a beer during a University of Arizona home basketball game this season after all.

In December, the Tucson City Council approved the liquor license for UA's McKale Center.

The school then sent an application to the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control.

The ADLLC was supposed to decide on the license a few weeks later and if approved, Wildcat fans would have been able to buy beer and wine during games this season.

That all changed due to a one-page protest filed by a Tucson resident.

The man said he filed the protest because he worries about the negative impact selling liquor during games could have on the community and university.

"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," heb wrote in his protest.

The earliest the state liquor board will host a hearing is March 1. Even if the board has the hearing that day and approves the license, there is no way the McKale Center could get ready to serve alcohol for the Wildcats' last home game, which is set for March 3.

Dr. Robert C. Robbins has said it's not about generating revenue or putting more people in the seats, he said it's about giving the fans a better experience.

But there is some concern about those fans.

"We'll have third party vendors that are professional in making sure there's not over consumption and not underage drinking," Robbins said in December. "That is the most important thing to me, the safety of our fans and students."

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

Alcohol is already served at Hi-Corbett Field during UA baseball games, but the City of Tucson owns the field and the liquor license.

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