City may OK alcohol at some Boise State football tailgating

The change would let people drink in some public places before games.

sberg@idahostatesman.comMay 15, 2013 

  • Tailgating talk

    The Boise Parks and Recreation Commission will discuss a proposal to make drinking legal in certain areas around Bronco Stadium before this fall's football games. The commission's meeting is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Thursday in the Foothills Conference Room of Boise City Hall, 150 N. Capitol Blvd.

People have been partying before Broncos games for years, and they're not going to stop.

So city officials wonder if legalizing the activity in certain areas and keeping an eye on it is better than penalizing a few hundred people a year for what has become a Boise tradition.

"We know there's a lot of tailgate drinking that happens in these games and, you know, we think that's part of what makes Bronco football great," city spokesman Adam Park said.

The proposal is still preliminary, so its details are subject to change. The rough idea is to allow drinking in public places surrounding the stadium for about four hours before kickoff at the Broncos' 2013 games.

Popular tailgating areas that could be in the legal zone include the eastern half of Julia Davis Park and parking lots south and east of the stadium.

All other laws, such as those against drinking and driving, disorderly conduct and underage drinking, would remain in force.

"We think there's a possibility this could work and make Bronco football games even more fun than they already are," Park said. "Everyone knows that there's drinking on tailgates. And this would allow that to go on in a safe fashion, but also a legal fashion."

At the end of the season, the city would review the policy and determine whether to stop, continue or tweak it.

Drinking is not allowed inside Bronco Stadium. Fans openly tailgate on school property around the stadium, where alcohol enforcement focuses on blatant and disruptive behavior, university spokesman Greg Hahn said.

"The goal is to make it as safe and sane a family atmosphere as possible," Hahn said.

Park said the city wants the university's blessing before enacting the policy.

The university didn't request a change, but doesn't have a problem with it, Hahn said.

"We'll have to adjust how we deal with stuff, but that's fine. That happens," he said.

Sven Berg: 377-6275

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