Posted October 21, 2018 12:17:31If you’ve never been to a sports bar, or you live in a city with a local sports team, you may not be aware that it’s legal to walk around with them in public, even if you have a drink in hand.
This is the subject of a recent blog post by ESPN.com writer and columnist Mike Petke, who explains that the league is looking to ban “bars with beer and liquor license plates” that are located within 300 feet of a sports stadium.
According to Petke’s blog, the league has been working with the NFLPA, which is in charge of enforcing its regulations.
“There’s been a lot of discussion on social media, including from our players, about the potential impact of this new law,” Petke wrote.
“But I’ve learned that the NFLP [National Football League Players Association] is also in the process of drafting a letter to Congress in support of this effort.”
Petke wrote that the letter was not finalized but will include a “proposal that we’re very much committed to,” as well as a list of places that are prohibited from selling beer, liquor, or other drinkable products in their establishments.
According the NFL, bars that have a license plate that’s located in an area that is within 300 meters of a stadium are required to post signs warning patrons that they are subject to an ordinance.
“It’s illegal to sell, consume, or permit to be sold, consumed, or allowed within 300′ of a sporting event venue that is not a licensed sporting event,” reads the league’s “Statement on the Rules and Regulations for Sporting Events” from April 25, 2019.
A sports bar that is located in a sports venue that’s within 300m of the stadium but within 300 yards of the main entrance is subject to the same restrictions.
“This rule does not apply to any individual who has been or will be selling, consuming, or allowing to be distributed alcoholic beverages within 300-feet of a team facility or game field,” the league states.
The league also states that “bars that have alcohol license plates that are within 300′, 300′ or 300 yards are required by law to post signage on the property stating that the bar is within a designated area for sale, consumption, or distribution of alcoholic beverages and that the license plates are valid for the duration of the permit.”
If a bar is located within 200 feet of the sports stadium, it’s a different story.
The league states that a bar that’s in a designated zone that is 200 feet or more from a stadium is not required to display a sign or be located within the designated area.
“A bar that has an alcohol license plate in the designated alcohol-serving area that’s 200 feet from the stadium is required to have a sign posted stating that it is within the alcohol-selling area, but it is not obligated to be within the area or have a liquor license plate displayed,” the NFL states.
While the league says bars that are in a location that’s 300′ away from a team stadium and within 300 blocks of the primary entrance to a stadium must display signage, the same rules apply to bars that don’t have a licensed alcohol license, like bars located in the same area that are 300′ from the main gate.
The NFL’s policy on bar licenses is as follows:When a bar or tavern that has a beer license plate located in or near a stadium but not within 300 metres of a primary entrance is located at a location other than a designated drinking area, the licensee must display the license plate, along with a sign in a conspicuous location within the building that states the location of the licensed bar, and must provide a valid form of identification.
The licensee may not allow patrons to enter the building or use the building in any manner, including for consumption of alcoholic beverage, that would compromise the licensed premises or that would result in the unauthorized entry of patrons or the unauthorized sale or consumption of the alcoholic beverage by patrons.
A bartender or bartender’s assistant must also be present at the establishment to supervise the performance of the bartender’s duties.
The rule also states bars that aren’t in a specific licensed area or located in any location other the primary gate or that don ‘t have a designated alcohol serving area are not required by the rule to display signs or post signage in the building, except for bars that serve alcohol or serve alcoholic beverages that are not specifically identified.
“The law does not prohibit a licensee from using the space or area adjacent to a building or premises for other lawful purposes,” the rule states.
“However, the law prohibits any person from entering or remaining in a building without the appropriate license plate.”