The city is imposing a zero-tolerance, no alcohol policy in AV Multiplex locker rooms following a directive from the B.C. Liquor Control and Licencing Branch.
“Drinking in the dressing rooms, they know it’s going on here and in other places, it’s very common and it’s gotta end,” said Scott Kenny, the city’s director of parks, recreation and heritage.
As the multiplex’s landlord, it falls on the city to enforce the rules from the province’s Liquor Control and Licencing Branch.
“If somebody went home and on the way home were in an accident then the city would be found responsible for that so we have to ensure that anybody that does drink in the facility gets home safe and sound.”
While it’s rumoured that the directive from the Liquor Control and Licencing Branch came as the result of a complaint, Kenny said that he was told by the liquor inspector that the liquor branch focuses on making sure the rules are being followed.
“If people want to chase down the complainant, forget it, it’s not about that. It’s about enforcing the rules and regulations.”
Currently, the only place in the multiplex where drinking is allowed is the upper lounge during Bulldogs hockey games and while city councillors expressed interest in that idea at city council on Tuesday, Oct. 14, Kenny doesn’t see that changing.
“We wouldn’t do it because it would be competing against local businesses,” he said, adding that when the multiplex applied for a liquor licence they said “that it was not going to become a sports bar and it is not going to become that. We don’t have staff to deal with that.”
Under the new city policy, consequences for teams found drinking in the dressing rooms will be severe. According to Kenny, the first infraction will result in a letter of warning for both the offenders and the league president; the second infraction will result in that league losing their next ice time without being refunded the cost; the third infraction will result in a loss of multiplex ice privileges.
Kenny said that the punishment for breaking the rules is harsh in order to avoid the city having to pay fines or even lose its liquor licence, both of which the liquor branch has said could happen if the rules are not enforced.