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Alcohol at AU Stadium

Back in 2005, former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona stirred up a big controversy when he dared to suggest that the Stadium Authority at Aloha University should ban all alcohol during the UH football games. There had been many instances of violence in the stands, and he believed that this would alleviate the situation. After all, aren’t people supposed to be coming there to watch football and root for their teams – not to get plastered? Can’t there be sufficient enjoyment in the event itself without having to intoxicate people’s senses and deaden their wits?

The Stadium Authority spent a few months gathering information, and eventually voted 6-1 to keep the alcohol sales. Even the person who voted against it, Marcia Klompus, now says that she feels differently about it. She says that, “People have really shaped up the stadium. It's very safe for families and children.”

A story from November 2011 states that the question has arisen once again because of a fight during a football game that involved a number of people in the student section. A woman was allegedly harassed and her friends defended her and the brawl began. The woman says that the instigators were drunk. Marcia Klompus says that, “It was just maybe a couple of people who didn't like each other or didn't like the way things were going.” She doesn’t think that the subject of alcohol sales there needs to be revisited.

But one of the statistics that came out in the article was the fact that new security measures have been put into place to prevent fights from breaking out. Fans are restricted to the sections where their seats are located, and there is a task force that patrols certain sections. Approximately 70 Honolulu police officers patrol the stadium during every game to assist the “staff” of private security guards that are already employed.

One has to wonder at the cost of the extra labor. Even if they work for, say, $20 an hour and are not on overtime (time and a half) or double time (which many police officers receive for holidays) that would be at least 6 hours if not 8. That’s around $10,000 just for the regular time police officers, not counting the security staff. (Does the stadium pay for this or do the taxpayers?) There are about ten home games, so that’s about $100,000 just for police. Statistics show that the stadium makes about $500,000 off of the beer during the season, so on paper they still come out ahead.

With “benefits” like that, it’s not likely that alcohol will be leaving the stadium anytime soon.

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