Seeing The Astros Without Getting Drunk? Umpossible! But Now, Possible

Hey Astros fans. Are you tired of the exorbitant prices you have to pay for booze at Astros games? Well, I've got good news. And I've got bad news.

The good news is that the prices might be getting a lot damn cheaper real soon. The bad news is that the reason is that alcohol might no longer be served in the stadium. Oh, it's not because Drayton McLane is going all Christian and declaring alcohol to be one of the world's great sins, so he's now refusing to sell it. The problem is that Minute Maid Park might be losing its liquor license.

The Chron is reporting
that Aramark, the company that holds the right to sell alcoholic beverages is currently being investigated by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission as part of an ongoing administrative complaint arising out of its actions at Minute Maid Park. Specifically, Aramark has been accused of serving a clearly intoxicated person at an Astros game last August.  

Following the game, one Roy John Wilson veered around a TxDOT truck that was blocking a lane of traffic and struck and killed a pedestrian, David Hall, Jr., a TxDOT employee. Wilson fled the scene, but was later stopped by the police where he failed a field sobriety test and tested over the legal limit.  

KTRK got a response from Aramark saying "We take the responsible service of alcoholic beverages very seriously and have industry-leading standards in place at each venue where we provide food and beverage services. We do not comment on pending matters."

The TABC also didn't provide many comments on the matter. So it's not known which of Aramark's licenses at the stadium are up for revocation. Aramark has two licenses, one for beer and one for liquor, and they cover different areas of the ballpark. Only one license is at stake, so it's possible that if you sit in the right section, you will still be able to get nice and drunk while watching Carlos Lee loaf after balls hit to left field.  

The Astros could not be reached for comment, but knowing Drayton McLane, I wouldn't be surprised to see him use this as an excuse to jack up prices even more because of a thought process that would indicate that if a person could afford to get drunk off of the current prices, then he's just not charging enough for the stadium booze.

The TABC has not set a date for the administrative hearing regarding the license, so it's possible you can continue to go on getting smashed and the games. It's also possible that, should Aramark lose one of the licenses, another vendor can take over from Aramark.

It's also worth noting that, if the Astros find themselves unable to sell alcohol in the stadium they won't be the first major league team to face this punishment this season. Earlier this season, the Toronto Blue Jays got in trouble with Canadian authorities because of the actions of drunk fans, and alcohol sales were prohibited for several games.

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John Royal is a native Houstonian who graduated from the University of Houston and South Texas College of Law. In his day job he is a complex litigation attorney. In his night job he writes about Houston sports for the Houston Press.
Contact: John Royal