No beer for Victoria concert goers

Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre operators to fight liquor sale suspension

The Oct. 1 Avril Lavigne concert promises to be a dry one.

Same goes for the Royals match against Medicine Hat at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, and likely the Moody Blues concert Oct. 8.

The arena must suspend liquor sales during six event days starting Oct. 1.

The penalty dates back to November 2007, when some boisterous youngsters sitting behind the goalie at a Salmon Kings’ game caught the attention of Victoria police officers. A 17 year old was observed sipping beer, and others observed in possession of beer.

In August 2008, a hearing under the Liquor Control and Licensing Act confirmed a liquor contravention and imposed the penalty. Arena operators R.G. Sports and Entertainment appealed and the B.C. Supreme Court sent the issue back for a second hearing.

On Aug. 25, adjudicator Edward Owsianski upheld the original 10-day penalty, of which the arena has already served four days.

It’s not a done deal, however.

“This is an ongoing legal matter,” said Dave Dakers, president of RG Sports and Entertainment. “We continue to vigorously defend ourselves in respect to these issues.”

In the arena’s submission for the hearing, RG argued the six suspension days should be served during normal business days, not only on ticketed event days.

Owsianski didn’t buy the argument.

“Those six business days must be days during which the licensee is hosting a trade show, conference, convention, banquet or entertainment or sporting event during which liquor would normally be sold and served to patrons,” he wrote.

“I do not agree with counsel for the licensee that the suspension would be effective on dates in which liquor is not being sold or served.”

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