Boise City Council to take up tailgating around Bronco Stadium

A Parks and Rec panel has endorsed a plan on drinking near the stadium.

sberg@idahostatesman.comJuly 20, 2013 

  • GO TO THE MEETING

    The City Council will hear the first of three readings of a proposed law that would allow tailgaters to drink alcohol around Bronco Stadium on the days of football games.

    The meeting starts at noon Tuesday in the council's third-floor chambers of City Hall, 150 Capitol Blvd.

The only tweaks the commission wanted were to exclude Zoo Boise from the legal tailgating zone, as well as a small section of Julia Davis Park where a cancer survivors plaza will be built this fall.

Once those requests were fulfilled, commissioners found nothing in the ordinance to balk at.

If the proposal becomes law, drinking alcohol will be legal in designated public places surrounding Bronco Stadium between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. on the days of Boise State University football games. Roughly defined, those areas include the eastern half of Julia Davis Park, and the city blocks between University Drive and Beacon Street, and Broadway Avenue and Joyce Street.

A peninsula between Capitol Boulevard, University Drive and Cesar Chavez Lane also would be included.

Drinkers will have to keep their beverages - beer, wine, liquor, etc. - in opaque cups and follow all other alcohol regulations, such as underage drinking laws.

"Police will continue to enforce those who aren't behaving, just like they always have," Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said. "In fact, this makes sense from their perspective. Now they can focus more on that."

The Boise Police Department, which has handed out hundreds of open-container tickets a year for Boise State football off-campus tailgating, proposed the new law. Police Chief Mike Masterson estimated that the city will lose $6,750 in ticket revenue if it passes.

Now that it's received the Parks and Recreation Commission's blessing, the measure goes before Boise's ultimate authority, the City Council. Tuesday is the first scheduled reading of the proposed ordinance. The council usually listens to three readings of ordinances before passing them into law.

Unless there's some hitch, the new tailgating policy should take effect in time for the Broncos' Sept. 7 home opener against the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks. Kickoff is 1 p.m.

The alcohol rules would be enacted on a policy status, meaning the city could review and change - and even revoke - them at any time.

"In all honesty, in all the discussions we've had, we don't think it would get to that point," Holloway said. "We're more looking at tweaks - tweaks here and there to make it more plausible and work better, because it's the first time we've done something like this."

Sven Berg: 377-6275

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