All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2018 The Arizona Daily Star. All Rights Reserved.
Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)
UA fans hoping to enjoy a beer while watching the Wildcats basketball team play in McKale Center this season will have to tough it out without a cold one.
A protest filed with the Arizona State Liquor Board has stalled plans -- likely until March -- to get permission to sell beer and wine to fans during home basketball games.
Local resident James Bly said in a letter to the board he was concerned that selling beer and wine would lead to more crime on campus and DUI cases.
"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," he wrote.
Bly is a former administrative law judge with the Arizona Department of Transportation and said in his complaint that he had presided over thousands of driver's license cases with the Motor Vehicle Division that involved DUIs.
He would not comment about his complaint when contacted by the Star.
University officials had hoped to start selling alcohol at McKale as early as this month, confident that would occur after getting the backing of the majority of the Tucson City Council in early December.
The council's approval is not a prerequisite for getting the state liquor board to sign off on the sale of beer and wine, but it is helpful to getting final approval.
UA Associate Vice President Joel Hauff said the university was aware of Bly's complaint but declined to comment on the issues raised in it.
Jeffery Trillo, the assistant director of licensing and administration at the state agency, said the earliest this matter can be scheduled for a hearing before the liquor board is March, too late for any UA home games at McKale. The men's basketball team's last home game this season is March 3.
The university already sells alcohol at city-owned and off-campus Hi Corbett Field for baseball games as well as at ice hockey games at the Tucson Convention Center.
University officials have stated they are looking to sell beer and wine at sporting events primarily in response to numerous requests from fans.
The UA does not intend to sell beer and wine at University of Arizona football games.
The UA already holds six liquor licenses, including one for limited service in private areas of Arizona Stadium.
Credit: Joe Ferguson Arizona Daily Star
Read More of Today's AB Headlines
Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter