We’re hearing from Point Mallard visitors after the Decatur City Council approved the sale of alcohol at the park’s ice complex. This comes just one month after a shooting happened at Point Mallard.
“Typically, when games are over, the winning team buys the losing team a round of drinks, and you just sit around and talk and socialize," Ben Estes said.
Estes is part of the curling community that practices and competes at the Point Mallard Ice Complex.
He’s learned the ins and outs of the sport—including its traditions.
“What they used to do, back when you played on ponds, is they would paint all the lines and sit their brooms down, and share a pint while they waited for the paint to dry," he said.
It’s a tradition called “broom-stacking” and it’s something Estes and his teammates have never been able to do at the Point Mallard Ice Complex.
But that could soon change. Beer and wine will now be added to the menu at the rink's concession stand after the Decatur City Council approved the sale of alcohol at the complex.
Estes told WAAY 31 he believes the decision will bring more visitors to Point Mallard, meaning more money for the city, and more interest in sports played there, like curling, hockey, and figure skating.
“We think it’s something that will bring in people, so they can sit, watch, and enjoy it—the same way you would at any other sporting event," he said.
But one parent, whose children visit Point Mallard often, told WAAY 31 she's afraid the sell of alcohol could lead to more incidents like last month’s shooting.
“Alcohol and a lot of people, it never mixes," Anita Cothren said. "Tempers can flare up and rise, so it could be a bad thing.”
But with alcohol only allowed inside the ice complex, Estes said he doesn’t foresee any future problems.
“If anyone is opposed or curious about this, when we post our season for the fall, I’d love for them to just come out and watch one night and see what they think about it themselves," he said.
Officials told WAAY 31 alcohol is already sold at some private events at Point Mallard and at the golf course.
The alcohol sold at the ice complex will only be sold during adult sporting events, not children’s events.