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Aces Pursuing Beer Sales

Baseball team looking to boost revenue, attendance

The Alexandria Aces baseball team is pursuing beer sales at home games this summer.

Team owner Don Dinan presented the club’s beer sales model to the Alexandria Parks and Recreation Commission during a contentious meeting on Thursday night. Members of the commission felt a need for more discussion before approving any application for alcohol sales.

According to a Parks and Recreation official, an application for alcohol sales must be approved by the commission before being considered by the ABC board.

In response to the reception from the Parks and Recreation Commission, a team source told Patch that Aces officials plan on meeting with Mayor Bill Euille and members of the City Council to get “a realistic appraisal of what their feeling is” about the proposal.

“Our present intention is to file an application,” the source said.

The Aces, members of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, play their home games at Frank E. Mann Field in Four Mile Run Park next to Cora Kelly School.

Dinan told the commission the club would like to construct a beer garden along the stadium’s right-field wall. Beer would only be available within a confined area. Attendees would have to be 21 or over to enter the beer garden and would be limited to two sales per transaction. Anyone who appears under the age of 30 would be carded upon entering the beer garden and an ABC manager would be on premises.

The beer garden would likely offer Coors products and Virginia microbrews with prices ranging between $5 and $6.50.

“There’s not going to be dollar beer night,” Dinan said.

Dinan said the club is pursuing beer sales to enhance revenue and draw bigger crowds.

“Enjoying a cold beer at a ballgame is a tradition dating back to the 19th century,” Dinan said.

Commission member Ripley Forbes felt the proposed beer sales presented a lot of unanswered questions about security and enforcement, among other things.

“Essentially you want to put an alcohol store by a school,” Forbes told Dinan. “The players are underage. … You go to a George Mason baseball game or a basketball game at the Patriot Center and there’s no beer. … This is a major policy issue that requires discussion.”

The Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League allows college players a chance to play everyday with wood bats, simulating the experience of professional leagues.

The Northwoods League, a collegiate summer league in the Upper Midwest, offers beer sales league-wide. The Cape Cod League, also similar in structure to the Ripken League, offers beer sales at some stadiums. Two other teams in the Ripken League are preparing to offer beer sales this summer.

Councilman Frank Fannon, the former director of the Aces, said he felt the field’s proximity to the school “wasn’t much of a concern.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, Fannon said “nothing has really come across our desks” at City Council about beer sales at Aces games.

The Aces open their season on June 3 when they play host to the Vienna River Dogs.

Adam Gerard May 28, 2011 at 02:17 AM
Why do so many people feel that the selling of beer will automatically convert to alcoholics and drunk driving? I initially read this article and thought, "Oh, it might be fun to have a beer at an Aces game." Does that say something about me that I don't realize? Alcohol is sold responsibly all over Del Ray without it resulting in complete debauchery and chaos. Why is this different? I think there are some concerns about the location and setting and it is good to ask questions. But to jump straight to the worst possible outcome just because alcohol is involved seems overboard to me.
Rachel Jareau May 28, 2011 at 03:20 AM
Beer with alcohol, or any alcoholic beverage, for that matter near a school is just not supposed to happen in Alexandria. It's against the law to have alcohol on school grounds anyway, so, thankfully, the Democrat majority of the city council (who care about people in Alexandria) will no doubt vote against the Aces getting beer at Cora Kelly School. I already know how Councilman Fannon will vote. He'll vote "Yes!" for selling alcohol at Cora Kelly School, and Councilwoman Alicia Hughes will also follow his lead and she'll vote "Yes!" too. They're both going to be one-term Republicans who won't get reelected if they try to run in the next city council election. Thank God for that too!
djrobb June 26, 2012 at 05:53 PM
The Morehead City Marlins are a summer collegiate wooden bat baseball team that sells beer. They have seen attendance grow and bolster finances. No reported disturbances. A beer or two during a baseball game is as American as apple pie. I'd be more inclined to go if I could cool off with a brewski while I watch my favorite past time. http://www.nccoast.com/publications/waterfront/and-then-there-was-beer/article_dac812ce-780c-11e1-b475-001871e3ce6c.html
Sherry Henderson June 27, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Beer at Alexandria Aces games would attract a large throng of alcoholics who would drink to get drunk, urinate in public, use vulgar language, as they got inebriated, and cause a slew of traffic accidents, from Commonwealth Avenue, down through Del Ray. That's one thing that Del Ray doesn't need, is a pile of stewed alkies leaving Alexandria Aces games, all plowing down Mount Vernon Avenue. I have been to a few Aces games already this summer, and they've had some really big crowds, 200 to 300 loyal fans. Can you imagine if the word were to get out that the Aces had beer at their ball games? They might double their attendance, half with fans who were sober, and half who were drunk. The Alexandria Aces have created a very large fan base and people are packing their ball park to see their games now. We certainly don't want to have large scale drinking and tons of alcoholics showing up during Aces games either. If I ever see that they're selling beer, I will rally people in Del Ray to boycott Aces games. Having beer at Aces games, where there are a lot of children in attendance is just not a good mix. Major League Baseball games like the Nationals are different. There you have layers of security and police all around the ball park. They also can hide their alcoholic fans who show up at Nationals Park better too. Alcoholics tend to blend in better when they're at Nationals Park. You really notice them when Phillies fans show up as they are always drunk. No beer sales for the Aces!
Sherry Henderson May 22, 2013 at 02:03 PM
Are the Alexandria Aces pursuing beer sales at Frank Mann Field for their upcoming 2013 season? Has anyone heard? I can only imagine the long line of alcoholics and degenerates that will be lining up at the ball park if the Aces are allowed to sell beer this year.

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