By Mark Squibb
October 27, 2023 Edition
Fans will soon be able to enjoy an adult beverage while watching their Baker Flooring Senior Blues play at home — for the time being at least.
The Town’s recreation committee and the senior hockey team have agreed to designate a certain area of the stands at the Conception Bay South Arena as an alcohol zone on a trial basis.
“The team had approached us because they wanted to be able to have alcohol in the stands to enhance the in-game experience, and also to generate more revenue for their team,” explained recreation committee chairperson Shelley Moores. “So, our response, first of all, was does anybody else do this?”
The Ward 1 councillor said staff learned that other stadiums, including the Mary Brown’s Centre, Jack Bryne Arena, and Eastlink Events Centre in Clarenville, do permit alcohol in the stands in designated areas.
“We made it quite clear at the committee level that this will be an expense to the team, and will be added on to their booking charge, because when you allow alcohol, you do require more security and things like that,” Moores noted.
The trial is expected to begin this month and will run until the end of the year, although Moores said that should any issues arise, the trial will be re-evaluated.
Moores said the safety of visitors, staff, and players is the Town’s number one priority. Once the trial period ends, the team and the committee will reconvene and discuss whether to continue the practise.
“If everyone is happy, then I’m sure we will continue with it, but no decision about that will be made until the end of the year and until both groups have had a chance to meet and weigh the pros and cons,” said Moores, who added she would like to believe the trial will be a success.
“Based on what other facilities are experiencing, it seems to be a positive thing and there have been no real issues, so we’re hoping it will be the same in CBS,” said the councillor.
Currently, alcohol is only permitted in the warm room.
The request was discussed during a recreation committee meeting held on October 12, and although it wasn’t discussed specifically during the October 17 public council meeting, council approved a blanket motion to accept any and all recommendations and decisions of that committee meeting.