"It is absolutely inappropriate that alcohol sales be expanded into the stands of an event where the entertainment is provided by players most of whom are minors.'' - Kamloops Thompson Teachers Association.
Which pretty much sums up the whole beer-in-the-stands argument. Except that it was written 11 years ago.
The controversy is the same today as it was then - perceived erosion of the family experience. Visions of youngsters having to put up with beer-swilling louts splashing the suds around at ISC.
The only difference was that, back then, the issue was whether or not to allow beer in the stands at all. Now it's about selling it in the stands instead of at concessions and making fans carry it back to their seats.
Back when the battle first raged, fearful comparisons were made to Kelowna's Skyreach Place where, local opponents reported, fans "pumped full of alcohol" tormented families just wanting to enjoy a night of togetherness watching Canada's game.
Like King Canute holding back the tide, the letter writers, editorialists and even the Blazers themselves leaped into the rising surf to stem the oncoming ocean of brew.
Team president Colin Day adamantly insisted there would be no beer in the stands on his watch. City council declined overtures from its staffers, who pointed out the City was running a hefty deficit on the building.
As the years passed, a young redheaded rookie councillor by the name of Terry Lake came out on the side of beer. "There's revenue potential we have to look at," he declared.
How much revenue? An estimated $150,000 a season.
Lake was greeted with more public outrage, more stories of "obnoxious, foul-mouthed" beer drinkers in the hockey arenas of Kelowna, Moose Jaw and Vancouver.
The late Gerry Bell, then the Blazers CEO, sighed, "This is one of those issues that's never going to go away."
And it didn't. Finally, in 2007, with Lake now in the mayor's chair, council agreed to a new recommendation from its staff to do a "test" for one season. The Blazers, too, acquiesced.
Beer flowed; the world did not come to an end.
Last season, beer at Blazers games brought in $154,000. On average, 716 cups are sold at each game (at $6 a go, up from $5 when it started - it's an HST thing).
At the average music concert, on the other hand, 4,500 cups are tilted to the beat. The City's sports facility guy Jeff Putnam figures it's because a different, perhaps younger, crowd attends concerts than watches hockey.
From the take, City Hall receives a 20 per cent cheque from concession contractor Compass Foods. The Blazers take nothing.
However, would the convenience of not having to trek up and down stairs and squeeze back into their seats entice fans to attend more often? Would it tempt a younger fan base?
Maybe. Early on, I was not a personal fan of bringing beer into the arena, but my view is that the line, if we can call it that, was crossed in 2007 and this is the next natural step. We were wrong with our dire predictions way back, and letting hawkers sell brew along with the peanuts wouldn't be a big deal.
But, with council's split decision this week, it's not gonna happen this season. There's no Plan B, says Putnam, but staff might "revisit" the issue some other season.
It's happened before.