Before each game, Green Bay Packers fans look forward to the party before the game. But if the lobbyists pushing a new state law get their way, fans will find it much harder to indulge one of their favorite indulgences: Tailgating.
A new state law has been churning its way through the state capital at Madison, Wisconsin, that would force property owners to purchase a liquor license before renting out parking spaces for fans to tailgate, the Washington Post reported. This would essentially ban tailgate parties where fans rent a parking spot to imbibe alcohol to party it up before a game, that is unless the property owner pays the fee for the license.
One can assume that jumping through all the difficult, costly, and time-consuming hoops to qualify to purchase a liquor license is something few property owners would bother with. There is also no indication if the number of licenses needed to cover every property owner who has rented space to fans in the past would be increased from the limited number the city has to offer now.
Many football fans think the new law will put an end to a large number of the spots fans rented to party in the past.
According to the Post, this example of over-regulation is a result of a legislative fight between a lobby group that represents tavern owners and another group looking to advance the interests of the state’s growing winery sector.
The winery owners want to change state laws that force wineries to close at 9 PM. They say this law prevents them from hosting weddings and other such events. But the tavern owners are unhappy with the idea that they will have increased after hour competition possibly taking customers away from the state’s bars.
The tavern owners’ league is at the heart of the efforts to restrict the fans’ tailgating sending the message that booze is their turf. But the tavern league says that the tailgaters were not exactly their target. The league says they only wanted to restrict the expansion of barn weddings, wineries, and other venues hoping to expand their own business prospects.
Some members of the state legislature are looking to alter Assembly Bill 433 to strip out the restrictions on the tailgaters. But one thing that the sudden attack on Packers fans’ beloved tailgating has shed a harsh light on the over protective actions of the Tavern League.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.