City Debates Whether to Allow Alcohol at UW Sports Factory


A heated back and forth discussion took place during Monday night’s city council meeting, over Prairie Street Brewing Company’s proposal to open a restaurant, that would sell liquor, at the UW Health Sports Factory.

Aldermen decided not to make a decision on Monday, which surprised members of the brewing company.

“After the Park District [came] to us asking to us to do what we do… it was only natural that we would be serving alcohol on [the] premises,” said Reed Sjostrom, Prairie Street Brewing Company.

“I think there was a lot of confusion, as far as their business plan, and what they were asking of city council,” explained Alderman Joseph Chiarelli, 14th Ward.   

Some city officials worry that the plan would turn the Sports Factory into a banquet hall on certain nights, or other activities that would come there, defeating the purpose of the sporting facility. But, Sjostrom says that’s not the case.

“We’re there to support the Park District in whatever they’re trying to do,” explained Sjostrom. “If they want to have an event there, then we would love to cater for them. But, we are not trying to expand on our banquet business [in the downtown area].”

10th Ward Alderman Frank Beach is not sold on the idea of serving liquor at a facility geared towards kids, and he does not support their idea of selling packaged beer.

“The venue is supposed to be for sports events,” said Ald. Beach. “That’s what that facility is supposed to be all about. I think we have to set examples for our young people, and this isn’t the best example.”    

“There’s numerous other sports facilities across the country that offer beer and liquor, just as we will,” retorted Sjostrom.


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