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Local Sports Complex Looking to Sell Alcohol

Local Sports Complex Looking to Sell Alcohol

By FOX 47 News. CREATED Apr 22, 2014

Managers of the Hope Sports Complex on Lansing's south side are hoping a little booze will help boost revenue for the facility.

They're trying to convince the city to allow them to sell alcohol at the venue used by several youth soccer clubs. City council would have to amend an ordinance to allow the sales to begin.

Private management began leasing the complex on Aurelius Rd. from the city last summer and has been dumping significant money into it ever since, rehabbing the fields and bringing in new sports programs.

But Julie Mullin, general manager of the complex says the expansion and upgrades have come at a price.

"We need the ability to create a path to finance the whole project," Mullin said. "It would mean almost a guaranteed success for us to continuing improving the fields and expand the complex."

Mullin says demand is definitely there to bring alcohol into the mix to sell alongside concessions during the game.

During a presentation to the city council Monday night at a committee of the whole meeting, Mullin said it ideally would be a full bar that would allow them to serve a mix of beers, wine, and margaritas in a yet-to-built pavilion alongside the complex's existing one.

But it's a move that's raising some eyebrows among some of the parents whose kids play at the complex.

"I would prefer there not to be alcohol sold at the complex just because of the emotions involved in the games sometimes," said one mother, who worries some parents on the sidelines are already too rowdy.

"I think a lot of parents are passionate when their kids play here but they keep it in check," said another parent who didn't see an issue with the idea. "I think they'd be responsible with knowing this is a family thing with kids."

Mullin says any alcohol sold would have to be consumed in a designated area away from the playing fields.

"You know, we all want our kids to be safe and I have full intentions of complying with all the rules and regulations," she said.

Council member Jessica Yorko, who expressed support for the idea during Monday's meeting, still recognized the concerns some had with the proposal.

"I think with any expansion of alcohol sales in any part of the city we're very cautious and take a lot of precautions and ask a lot of questions," she said.

A public hearing to discuss amending a city ordinance to allow the alcohol sales at the complex is set for May 19.