Tampa Bay Hockey Team Offers Free Beer

In an effort to attract larger crowds, the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team in Florida plans to offer unlimited free beer to new season-ticket buyers, the Associated Press reported May 12.

Police officials and Mothers Against Drunk Driving have come out against the idea. “Why attach alcohol to a season-ticket plan? It’s almost encouraging people to drink more than they should because it is free,” said Sgt. Chris Velar, who runs the Police Department’s DUI unit.

The offer was advertised on the main scoreboard of the first Eastern Conference playoff game between the Lightning and the Philadelphia Flyers. Under the deal, those who pay $100 towards 2004-2005 season tickets would be eligible to receive free beer during that game.

Team spokesman Bill Wickett said people who appear intoxicated were not served beer, and free taxi rides were offered to patrons who feel they drank too much. About 25 people took advantage of the offer.