EDITORIAL – New rules around drinking at hockey games shouldn’t be a surprise

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

ERRANT HOCKEY FANS have received what, in essence, they asked for — a no re-entry rule at Sandman Centre.

The new rule, along with a couple of others, went into effect just in time for the playoffs and it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. When I first reported on this a couple of months ago, strong signals were being sent from City Hall that it was coming.

The decision grew out of general concern about managing alcohol consumption at the arena. It began with an observation that some fans were taking too much advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a cold one during the game.

Out of that came a discussion of attendees sneaking out during breaks to drink their own booze instead of buying what’s offered inside.

So now, Sandman Centre will be no different than Rogers Centre or a lot of other similar venues. We’re not allowed to bring our own food or beverages into the rink, and will be checked to make sure we don’t try.

There’s been a lot of talk going around the past couple of days about people planning ways to sneak it in anyway. If they get too creative with it, we could end up with the kind of tight security used at the Rogers Centre with its airport-style scanners.

Most arenas with tight entry and no-re-entry rules do try to accommodate people with special dietary needs and so on. And those who worry about not being allowed to leave a building — well, of course you can leave if you need or want to; you just can’t go back in.

When alcohol becomes so important to you that you can’t handle not being able to sneak out and get your own instead of paying a few bucks for a beer inside, I’d say you’ve got a bigger problem than a policy aimed at managing consumption in a way that keeps the event enjoyable for all.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He has served as mayor of Kamloops, school board chair and TNRD director, and is a retired newspaper editor. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9634 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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