Beer could be sold in Interior Saving Centre seats alongside popcorn and hot dogs if City councillors back a request to allow hawkers to walk the stands.
A joint committee of representatives from the City, Kamloops Blazers and Compass Foods have asked council to support a request to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch to allow vendors to expand liquor sales to seated sports fans.
Jeff Putnam, recreation facilities manager for City, said the move would improve customer service and add value for patrons at the ISC.
“The Blazers have discussed this with us for a long time,” he said.
The move requires a slight variation to the arena’s existing liquor licence and the approval of council would go a long way to making that happen, said Putnam.
Council will discuss the matter in chambers on Tuesday.
Liquor is sold in the ISC lounge and customers are allowed to take drinks back to their seats. Even if council doesn’t approve of the sale of liquor in the stands, the plan is to allow food sales there.
When the idea of allowing patrons to drink beer in the stands at all arose in 2005, the Kamloops Blazers’ board of directors voted against the idea.
Former City councillor John DeCicco was opposed then and told The Daily News on Friday he remains of the same mind now.
“To me, the issue was that it’s a family gathering and that it should be so. Not everyone is responsible when they start drinking,” said DeCicco. “To me, there’s a place where you can go outside the rink and drink a beer. But not in the stands.”
When the matter came up back then, DeCicco told his council colleagues that a dozen people came into his barbershop who were opposed to the idea.
But he stopped short of suggesting the current council should vote against the idea.
Councillors contacted by The Daily News on Friday were split on the issue. Pat Wallace supports the idea, saying it makes good business sense while Donovan Cavers is concerned that beer hawkers cruising the stands might ruin the mood at the arena.
Bud Mullen wrote several letters to the editor condemning the proposal back in 2005 and said Friday it’s still a bad idea.
He’s spotted people with eight beers in hand at hockey games and watched as drinks were spilled on spectators. Selling liquor in the stands will just make things worse, he said.
But Putnam said he’s not heard a single complaint from ISC patrons since liquor has been sold at the venue.
A spokesperson with the Kamloops Blazers could not be reached for comment and call to the local representative of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers was not returned by press time.