Eugene to hold public hearing on expanded drinking hours at Autzen Stadium

The expanded hours were temporarily put in place last summer after the University of Oregon requested the city consider allowing fans to drink six hours before kickoff instead of four hours.

Posted: Apr. 22, 2019 11:12 PM
Updated: Apr. 22, 2019 11:43 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The Eugene City Council has decided to hold a public hearing on allowing expanded drinking hours outside of Autzen Stadium during football season.

Last July the city council voted to allow people to drink six hours before football games, two hours longer than the previous four-hour limit.

RELATED: TAILGATING CHANGES AT AUTZEN

That was a temporary decision with the city council asking the University of Oregon to present data to show the impacts after the 2018 football season.

When the city agreed to those extended hours, the university also implemented a no re-entry policy at Autzen.

University officials said those changes, as well as adding more alcohol monitors in the stadium during games and changing parking regulations in the surrounding neighborhoods on game days has created a positive impact.

The university said the number of people ejected from the stadium has gone down 36 percent, and the number of ejections due to alcohol has gone down 47 percent compared to 2017.

City councilors agreed that the changes have been positive, but they want to see statistics from the 2015 and 2016 seasons as well.

Councilors also created stipulations if they agreed to make the changes permanent.

"Have in the ordinance the no re-entry policy, alcohol monitoring and parking," said Eugene City Councilor Alan Zelenka. "How do we do that and move it to public (hearing)?"

If the city were to approve continuing the extended hours and the university were to remove any of those changes, councilors would have the ability to reconsider allowing the extended hours.

The ordinance with those stipulations has been moved forward to a public hearing set for May 20.

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