Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bills broach bold changes to stadium beer regulations


Is your tasty brew the only thing keeping you outside of Ralph Wilson Stadium before noon on game day? If the team has its way, that beer will be accessible -- at an inflated price, of course --  an hour earlier than usual this upcoming season.

The Buffalo Bills are making a push in the state legislature to change the law that governs how early the facility and its concession stands can serve beer. Currently, that law states no beer can be served before noon.

According to The Buffalo News, legislation was introduced in the Assembly Tuesday that would move that time one hour earlier, with the hopes of pulling more fans inside and opening up more opportunity for $10 beer sales.

"Bills fans seem to have a taste for beer before noon on Sundays," Democrat Assemblyman Sean Ryan told the News, in what's likely the most underrated statement we've heard this year. "I think the thought is die-hard tailgaters maybe on a cold day will come in an hour earlier and find new options. 

"This would enable fans to enjoy more of the pregame atmosphere inside the newly renovated stadium, which will include the new interactive fan experiences and dining options that were previously unavailable to fans."

I mean, we're all for checking out the team's new digs, and updates both in and around the stadium look great so far. But tailgating is part of the game day experience for the majority of fans, and pregame warm-ups and a walk around the perimeter is, in our opinion, unlikely to sway many fans to put down their economical beverage choice and head toward the gates two hours before start time.

Republican Senator Patrick Gallivan of Elma was approached by the team to bring the bill to the Assembly, which has until June 19 until its session ends. A similar bill was brought up by lawmakers two years ago, but was ultimately shot down. 

Senator Mark Grisanti, a Republican from Buffalo, has a bill still active in both the Assembly and Senate that would change the sale of alcohol across the state from noon to 11 a.m. on Sundays. That bill was proposed last year but has yet to see any action, this as the state Senate continues its fight toward tougher DUI penalties.

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