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Lacrosse group can sell alcohol at Sportsplex during games, council says

The junior team will use the money from alcohol sales for buses, hotels and meals when on the road. It expects about 40 people to attend the home games and access the licensed areas. 
Kinsmen Sportsplex
The Kinsmen Sportsplex. Photo by Jason G. Antonio

The Moose Jaw Lacrosse Association will be able to sell alcohol at the Kinsmen Arena during games that feature junior-age — under 22 — players after receiving permission from city council.

During its May 8 regular meeting, council voted 5-1 to let the association operate licensed events in the southwest corner of the arena during the next few months. The area will be fenced off up to the penalty box so fans can drink in one section of the bleachers while association board members will act as security. 

Furthermore, minors cannot access the fenced area without an accompanying adult, while the Sportsplex’s concession will operate during games. 

This approval is subject to the organization obeying the conditions outlined in the City of Moose Jaw’s alcohol use events policy. 

Coun. Kim Robinson was opposed, while Coun. Jamey Logan recused himself from the vote because of a conflict of interest.   

The specific dates include Wednesday, May 10, from 7 to 11 p.m., Sunday, May 28, from 1 to 4 p.m., Monday, June 5, from 7 to 10 p.m., Friday, June 23 to Sunday, June 25, from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. for playoffs, Tuesday, July 4 from 7 to 10 p.m. and Wednesday, July 5 to Sunday, July 9 from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. for provincials. 

The team will use the money for buses, hotels and meals when on the road. It expects about 40 people to attend the home games and access the licensed areas. 

The policy says the Kinsmen Arena is a discretionary use site for alcohol-related activities, so the event operator must submit a written request to city hall, which reviews the application and sends it to council for approval, a council report explained.

This is the first year Moose Jaw will have a junior lacrosse team in the provincial league after a 10-year absence, while players’ ages are similar to the Miller Express baseball team, which receives an annual liquor permit for sales at Ross Wells Park, the report continued. 

There are five teams in the league — Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina, Swift Current and Saskatoon — with P.A. and Swift Current selling alcohol during games and Regina choosing not to. Saskatoon did not provide city hall with an answer. 

The Sportsplex pool will be open for regular hours during the games — which many minors and families will attend — while the adjacent pickleball courts, ball diamond and skate park draw patrons into the building to use the lobby and washrooms, the report said.

City hall recommended that alcohol sales and consumption be limited to the southwest corner so they were out of sight of patrons and young families using the pool and other building amenities, the document continued. Moreover, washroom access will be shared between the public and fans at the games.

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Association (SLGA) will also evaluate the request as part of the permitting process to determine whether the event is appropriate and can have a permit. 

The lacrosse association informed city hall that it is prepared to meet or exceed all conditions that the city and SLGA have, the report added. Moreover, all volunteers will complete responsible alcohol service training for special occasions, as SLGA requires. 

The next regular council meeting is Tuesday, May 23. 

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