Bucs not stopping their all-you-can-drink beer package
Bucs Will Keep Beer Tap Open
By ALAN SNEL firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: Jun 23, 2004
TAMPA - A spokesman for The Tampa Bay Buccaneers said Tuesday the team plans to work with a safe-driving advocacy group to stem drunken driving after home games, but said the team has no plans to stop offering unlimited draft beer as part of a game ticket and tailgate package it's marketing.
However, the team will consider dropping using all-you- can-drink beer as a promotional tool to market sales of the ticket packages, said spokesman Jeff Kamis.
Meanwhile, Ellen Snelling, co-chair of the Tampa Alcohol Coalition, a nonprofit organization that last week criticized the football team for marketing the all-you-can-drink ticket packages, said the group is pleased the team is open to discussing steps it can take to stop drunken driving.
Snelling, along with fellow co-chair Susan Carrigan, delivered a letter to team management Tuesday asking that it stop offering unlimited beer during the tailgate party events, noting that Hillsborough County leads the state in drunken-driving related arrests and ranks high in alcohol-related crash fatalities.
Kamis said senior director of business administration Mike Newquist had reviewed the letter and spoken with Snelling. Newquist, he said, was not available for comment.
``The gist is we're trying to work together. We want to work with them,'' Kamis said. ``We're very sensitive to this issue.''
Snelling said the coalition is pleased the team may pull any further references to unlimited draft beer in its advertising campaign, but still wants the team to drop offering all-you- can-drink beer at the events.
Under the deal, groups of at least 20 can pay $140 a person for tickets to any of two preseason and eight regular season home games and receive admission to a three-hour tailgate party that includes unlimited food and drink, including beer. The team advertised the event in two full-page newspaper ads last week as ``Tampa Bay's Largest Tailgate Party.''
``When people drink excessively bad things can happen,'' Snelling said.
In its letter, the coalition cited state and county figures that show Hillsborough County led the state in driving-under-the-influence arrests in 2003, with 5,720 DUI arrests.
``We have good reason to be concerned about the alcohol promotions and vending practices in our community: Hillsborough County continues to lead the state in alcohol-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Between 2001 and 2002, the number of alcohol-crash fatalities in Hillsborough County increased 27 percent to 79,'' the coalition's letter stated.
Snelling said Newquist told her the team believes that because the tailgate party begins three hours before the game fans have enough time to recover from drinking and won't be impaired when driving afterward.
Snelling said she and other coalition members had hoped the Buccaneers would have responded to their concerns in the same way the Tampa Bay Lightning did when the hockey team came under fire for a free beer promotion last month aimed at getting fans to buy season tickets. The team canceled the promotion and apologized to the community.
Re: Bucs not stopping their all-you-can-drink beer package
Correct me if you disagree Avenger, but the liability considerations here have to be incredible. How do they get insurance for this type of promotion? Talk about an accident waiting to happen!