Alcohol is fine at hockey games, but only for special occasions.
The Senior AAA Flyers put three beer garden applications before council, but only two of the applications were approved during yesterday’s city council meeting.
Beer gardens during the Bentley Generals Series and the Savage Cup events were allowed. Both events must first be approved by the RCMP and patrons must also leave the within one hour of the last call, which would take place at 10:00 p.m.
However, the application for the Fort St. John Senior Flyers to have a regular season beer garden was denied.
“I recommend that the request for the Fort St. John team Flyers to hold beer gardens to regular season game be regretfully declined,” said Councillor Byron Stewart.
Mayor Lori Ackerman thought that these requests for beer gardens were coming in a little prematurely.
“March is quite a way’s away. Is there a reason why this isn’t coming to us say in January or February?” asked Ackerman.
The response was that the Flyers were trying to be proactive and let council know in advance, which was seen as a positive thing by the City.
Ackerman also had concerns about would happen if there any incidents before the events occurred.
She was told: “The actual approval of this liquor license application, the final approval, goes through the RCMP so if there is something that transpires between now and then, they still have the ability to decline their application when it comes in.”
However, alcohol-related events over the past year, including a tragic death of a man in Dawson Creek, may have dampened enthusiasm for alcohol at City functions.
During a Hedley concert in February, a 28-year-old Fort St. John man was beaten in the EnCana Events Centre washroom and later died from his injuries, reportedly over a spilt beer. An additional man was taken to hospital and later recovered from his injuries.
In June of this year, council also rejected an application to have liquor in the Pomeroy Sports Centre. It was denied because of some concerns about the ability of staff members to police the behavior of players in the dressing rooms.
Currently, unless a Special Occasion License is granted, there is a zero alcohol tolerance rule at all City facilities, including the Pomeroy Sports Centre.
With files from Katelin Dean