The city of Prince George is reviewing how it will serve alcohol at events such as WHL hockey games.
It has been sixteen years since the city of Prince George last updated its liquor policy. The policy provides rules for how alcohol is served on any city property, from conferences at at the Civic Centre to hockey games at the CN Centre. Now they are hoping to update the guidelines.
Andy Beesley is the manager of the CN Centre and recreation facilities for Prince George. He says that over the last few months, his team has been consulting the public, researching policies in other cities, and conducting pilot projects to see how expanding beer drinking areas at hockey games affects problems with public drunkenness.
"What we learned is that if you congest people in a small beer garden, you're likely to have more problems than if you allow them to spread out a little bit in the general seating area. We've actually found that our incidents have dropped for hockey games."Listen to the full interview with Andy Beesley about alcohol policy in Prince George:
Beesley does acknowledge risks associated with alcohol, as well, and says there are policies in place to reduce problems.
"Our beer is priced quite high at concerts and that's not just a money gouge, that's also a security measure. There's a limit to how many drinks you can buy and we really insist people are not coming to the CN Centre just for drinking purposes."
The city is holding an open house on its alcohol policy Wednesday night. Beesley is hoping to get public feedback on the policy on a point-by-point basis.
"For example, do people agree with the policy that if someone is drunking and they're causing a disturbance they're gonna get chucked out of the game or the concert with no refunds, and do we have support for that in the community."
The open house is at 7:00 pm at the College of New Caledonia. Details can be found on the city of Prince George website