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Hockey fans split over rink beer


If the Soo Greyhounds sell beer during their home games, there will be at least one less hockey fan in the stands.

“There’s no way my 16-year-old will go down there,” said Jo-Anne Bumbacco, whose son currently attends the games.

City council is set to decide whether or not to approve an application for the sale of beer in the stands during the Ontario Hockey League team’s home games.

Bumbacco said she’s concerned that underage teens will try to purchase alcohol while at the game.

But fan Andy Cory said selling beer will help the team cover its costs. “City hall should wake up. We have to look at generating a dollar. It’s extra money for the team.”

He also noted that when he went to games in Lethbridge, Alta., beer was served with no problems.

But Bumbacco said covering costs is not a good enough reason to bring beer into the rink. “Who are we worried about—the money, the team, or the kids?”

Fan surveys conducted by team owners at two games earlier this year yielded a mixed response, with just 56 percent saying they were in favour of beer sales at the rink.

Six of the 17 other OHL franchises prohibit the sale of beer in the stands at their home games. Provincial legislation requires city council approval for any application to sell beer at a rink.

If council provides its consent, the city’s community services division could apply for the necessary licence.

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