Legislature Passes Bill on Ballpark Beer Rules - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Legislature Passes Bill on Ballpark Beer Rules

Lawmakers pass bill allowing fans to take drinks throughout ballpark



    A beer and a ballgame may be a classic double-play, but you can't go too far at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington if you buy an alcoholic beverage.

    But state lawmakers have passed a bill that would allow fans to go throughout the ballpark with the drinks they have purchased.

    "Right now, the fans are not allowed to go from one section of the ballpark, from the concourse level to the upper level to the mezzanine level, with a drink," said Rick George, Rangers president of business operations.

    "It's just way inconvenient," fan James Burns said. "If you want to go from one level to the next, you either got to throw it away or people got to chug it."

    And that's not an easy swallow, considering beers run about $8, he said.

    "Now you gotta chug it and, plus, that encourages binge drinking," Burns said.

    His wife, Michele, is Boston Red Sox fan who disagrees with her husband on teams but agrees that fans should be allowed to move throughout the ballpark with their drinks.

    "If you have people monitor that like at most ballparks, you can drink throughout the whole entire ballpark," she said.

    The team agrees that it's inconvenient but says that's not the only reason they pursued the legislation.

    "It's also a safety and responsible drinking issue, because what we find is that some people want to chug that drink at the escalator once they find out that they can't take it with them, and we think that's harmful," George said.

    A safe and responsible fan experience are as important as wins and losses, he siad.

    "They're all paramount to us," he said. "It's all about giving the customer what they want, but doing it responsibly, and that's what we're trying to do."

    The team also circulated a petition that would put wine sales in the ballpark up for election in November.

    The ballpark is temporarily selling wine in certain seating areas, but its waiver from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission ends after this season, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

    The Rangers submitted the wine-sales petition to the city last month. County election officials must verify the signatures to see if the petition has enough registered voters to force the election, the Star-Telegram reported.

    The city says that the measure, if passed, would also allow wine or liquor stores in Arlington. Beer and wine currenly can only be sold in grocery stores.