Hearing to address stadium liquor ban
The public will have a chance to comment at the December meeting
>> Swap meet fees may double
The Aloha Stadium Authority has renewed its effort for an alcohol ban in the stadium parking lot, but the booze will still flow for tailgaters through this University of Hawaii football season.
The authority voted yesterday to hold a public hearing as early as mid-December on the proposed parking lot alcohol ban. The UH football season ends Dec. 3.
The vote corrects what the state Office of Information Practices said was a violation of the state's so-called "Sunshine Law" at the board's last meeting in September when it adopted a subcommittee report proposing the ban immediately after it was presented.
The board subcommittee recommended alcohol be banned in the parking lot at regular season high school and college games. The ban would not affect alcohol sales inside the stadium.
"The majority of tailgating is wonderful," said Marsha Klompus, a member of the subcommittee. "However, it's obvious people who are making trouble (inside the stadium) are coming into the stadium already under the influence."
No one showed up to testify on the measure yesterday, although two UH students arrived after the meeting to urge the board to schedule the public hearing so students can participate.
Associated Students of the University of Hawaii-Manoa President Grant Teichman and student Senator Katie Barry said they missed yesterday's meeting because they had classes. They said the public hearing should not be held during finals week Dec. 12-16, nor should it be held during the winter break, which ends Jan. 9.
"The decision-making process is obviously being rushed," Barry said. The UH-Manoa student government is opposed to the ban.
Authority members said the public hearing will be scheduled on a Saturday or in the evening to allow maximum public participation.
Board Chairman Kevin Chong Kee said he was not surprised at the lack of public comment during yesterday's meeting. He said the people both for and against the ban will get their chance to be heard at the public hearing. The full board will hear public testimony and may vote on it immediately after the hearing.
If there are no major changes to the rules, they could be adopted 10 days after the vote.
The board also determined that the rule change would have no direct effect on small businesses because no small businesses sell alcohol or related products in the stadium parking lot.
However, the Small Business Regulatory Review Board, which reviews rule changes to see if small businesses will be affected, will discuss the alcohol ban at its meeting Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism.
If the board decides there is a small business impact, that could delay the authority's public hearing.
UH Athletic Director Herman Frazier said he doesn't have enough information to know if a tailgate alcohol ban will affect attendance at UH games. However, he said if the ban is adopted the university may change its marketing approach for next season.
Two of the nine Western Athletic Conference Schools ban alcohol in the parking lot. Boise State does allow alcohol inside corporate beer tents and Louisiana Tech allows alcohol when it plays games off campus in Shreveport. Louisiana Tech's campus is in a "dry" parish, meaning alcohol sales are not allowed within the county.
Four schools -- Boise State, Idaho, Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State -- ban alcohol sales inside stadiums during games.
SWAP MEET FEES COULD DOUBLE
The Aloha Stadium Authority moved ahead yesterday with a proposal to double the admission fee for the weekly parking lot swap meet.
The authority plans to hold a public hearing on the proposed increase, which would raise revenues for the stadium. The swap meet is held three times a week. The current admission fee is 50 cents.
Before the public hearing, the proposal will also go to the Small Business Regulatory Review Board for review.
Because the increase could affect small businesses at the swap meet, the authority changed the proposal yesterday to allow organizers to waive admission fees for special events or marketing purposes.