Rockville Lifts Restrictions on Alcohol in Sport Facilities

Soccer facility will now serve beer

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SoFive Soccer Center

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Rockville’s city code has been changed to allow more sport facilities to serve alcohol.

The mayor and city council voted unanimously at its meeting this week to allow alcohol sales provided the businesses get the proper county liquor licenses.

The change was prompted by a petition from the SoFive Soccer Center, at 1008 Westmore Ave., which opened Nov. 1.

Assistant Manager Brandon Leavy said beer sales could help boost its business base by allowing parents a chance to take a break, chat and watch games on TV in their café while children are playing.

“It’s [beer] definitely a driving factor. Parents want to bring their kids in for the youth leagues. They can have a beer and talk about the game,” he said. “It goes along with the culture of soccer.”

SoFive’s application for an on-site beer sales license is pending, and could be approved at the county liquor board’s Feb. 7 meeting, Leavy said.

Previously, indoor sport facilities were allowed to serve alcohol in Rockville business zones, but only in basements in mixed-use residential zones.

Indoor sport facilities, defined as buildings at least 60,000 square feet and are for the purpose of sports or health and fitness had been prohibited from selling alcohol. The Rockville Ice Arena is the only other indoor sport facility located in the city, according to city data. But two other facilities, The Michael and Sons Sportsplex and ZavaZone, are permitted to serve alcohol because they are classified as indoor recreational facilities, which don’t include the same restrictions as sport facilities.

Leavy said business has been good since the SoFive center opened in November.

“We’re brand new in the area, so it’s just a matter of gaining steam,” he said.

Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

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