ABC May Yank Foxfield’s License

The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has announced that they will conduct a hearing on Monday regarding the revocation of Foxfield‘s liquor license. Underage drinking, public drunkeness and disorderly conduct has been an ongoing problem after the twice-annual races. There is some question as to whether or not the race organizers even need a liquor license, given that they don’t serve alcohol, but merely allow attendees to provide their own. Peter Savodnik has the story in today’s Progress.

15 thoughts on “ABC May Yank Foxfield’s License”

  1. The last paragraph states: "And he questioned whether Foxfield even needs a liquor license, given that the racing association doesn’t sell alcohol but simply permits attendees to bring their own." Yet the article offers no research about whether that statement could possibly be true. Anyone know the law or want to check it out?

  2. fdr writes:Yet the article offers no research about whether that statement could possibly be true.

    You remember that this is the Regress, after all, right?

    As for me, I’d like to see VAABC dismantled. They are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites: part temperance society, part drug retailer.

    Otherwise, let’s just start banning all college (i.e., semi-pro) and professional sporting events, because some attendees abuse alcohol and other drugs there. And ban the Olypmpics because some attendees do likewise there, and some of the participants themselves abuse illegal (perfomance enhancing) substances. And ban all concerts, and ban all including those notorious ‘raves’ (has anyone seen anyhting more Orwellian than that ‘Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act of 2002′?!).

    Madness, I tell you . . .

  3. This sounds like something long past due. Personally, I doubt that this will fix the problem. It is a real shame that the county Board of Supervisors have not shown any leadership with this semi-annual embarrassment. Foxfield used to be a nice thing to go to. Now, public drunkeness is not the exception- it is the norm.

    Anyone who lives in Free Union or along the road to Charlottesville knows what a nightmare this event is. There are drunk drivers careening around everywhere. Litter all up and down the roads. This entire event has become a worthless act of vandalism disguised as tradition.

    The organizers of Foxfield have made no good-faith effort to address the dangers and nuisances of Foxfield. They don’t clean up the trail of garbage and they don’t do much to stop drunk driving. They don’t provide buses to keep drunk drivers off our roads or reduce the traffic congestion on small country roads. In short, much like the students, Foxfield’s organizers have shown zero respect for the community that hosts them.

    Let’s pull the plug completely on Foxfield. The Board of Supervisors should deny any permit to hold the event. After a few years without races, the students will forget all about it and the tradition will be broken. Then we can start the races again and it can be the safe, accessible event for locals that some of us remember.

  4. Jack writes: There are drunk drivers careening around everywhere [] The organizers of Foxfield don’t do much to stop drunk driving. They don’t provide buses to keep drunk drivers off our roads.

    Just on this drunk driving aspect: if this problem is so obvious, why doesnt the County just throw up sobriety checkpoints? Id suggest three which would serve as an effective control: 1) to the west, on Rt. 676 before Owensville Rd.; 2) to the north, on 601 before the turn off to 676; 3) to the east, on Barracks Rd., on the way back to town. Make em visible to all as they approach Foxfield. Then, catch the drunk/dangerous ones immediately as they leave. It seems to me that the County and VAABC could do this easily without all of this chest-thumping about the denial of an alcohol serving license which (I think, at least) is really rather moot.

    Surely you arent suggesting that the Foxfield Racing Assoc. (the correct URL, by the way, Waldo) get a posse together and detain, in an extra-juridical way, staggering drunks, on suspicion of their intention to drunk-drive, do you?

    Really: Im eager to hear what you think the Assoc. could do to limit drunk driving and which would be more efficient than the police actions outside these private grounds, as I described above.

  5. Things that the Foxfield Racing Association could have done include the following:

    -Banning alcohol altogether

    -Paying for more off-premises police patrols to watch traffic for drunk drivers.

    -Providing bus service to and from UVa. Free or paid would both be improvements.

    -Improved enforcement of existing laws against underaged drinking and public drunkeness.

    Voluntarily banning the consumption or possession of alcohol at the event would be the most effective of all these possibilities. That way anybody seen with a drink in hand is immediately kicked out. Checking IDs would not even have to be an issue. I’m pretty sure that the Foxfield Racing Association has the right to make such rules and enforce them. The people who are there expressly for the purpose of getting drunk would be discouraged from returning.

  6. Now Belle, dismantling the ABC is one of the most ridiculous things you have ever posted. (and there have been alot of ridiculous postings from you…well, mine aren’t much better come to think of it :) )But we need the ABC to prevent more teen deaths due to alcohol consumption and possession like the one the other night. Now, if you would like to see the IRS dismantled, I’ll go with you on that one…

  7. Now Belle, dismantling the ABC is one of the most ridiculous things you have ever posted. (and there have been alot of ridiculous postings from you…well, mine aren’t much better come to think of it :) )But we need the ABC to prevent more teen deaths due to alcohol consumption and possession like the one the other night.

    I will agree with one aspect of Belle’s statement: that it’s just silly for the ABC to control all liquor sales in this state. A court is going to stop them from doing so before too long, so they may as well sell off all of their liquor stores now, while they’re still worth something. To have special government stores where you have to go to buy alcohol just doesn’t make any sense to me.

  8. <blockquote>Anyone who lives in Free Union or along the road to Charlottesville knows what a nightmare this event is. There are drunk drivers careening around everywhere. Litter all up and down the roads. This entire event has become a worthless act of vandalism disguised as tradition.

    The organizers of Foxfield have made no good-faith effort to address the dangers and nuisances of Foxfield. They don’t clean up the trail of garbage and they don’t do much to stop drunk driving. They don’t provide buses to keep drunk drivers off our roads or reduce the traffic congestion on small country roads. In short, much like the students, Foxfield’s organizers have shown zero respect for the community that hosts them.</blockquote>

    And anyone who lives near Scott Staduim goes through the same thing 8 Saturdays a year. I am the one who cleaned up the chicken bones thrown in my yard so my dog (or anyone else’s) wouldn’t eat them. I am the one who had to go to the grocery store at 6 am on a Saturday so I would have a place to park when I came home. (Why did I choose to live there? I used to work at the hospital and the walk was nice. And my place was cheap.)

    Sure, since alcohol isn’t permitted at the game you can claim that are less drunk drivers. But we all know what happens at most tailgates.

    Any event that brings hordes of out-of-towners is a nightmare in this town. The Film Festival, Sporting Events, Festival of the Book. Each is a nightmare in different ways, usually drivers who don’t know how to read traffic signs. Should we just board up Charlottesville so we don’t have drunk drivers or litter bugs?

    Oh, and Foxfield may not provide buses but UVA buses are available and the times I have gone, I have seen JMU students getting off charter buses. The option is there, but you cannot force someone to use it.

  9. To equate the impact (both positive and negative) of Foxfield with football games seems to miss the point entirely. This really is an apples-oranges comparison. The only thing Foxfield has in common with UVA football games is they occur in the same state.

    Most (in fact, the vast majority) of attendees at UVA games are there to see the game. Most are familiar with the teams, schools, and/or players. Drinking certainly does occur, but nowhere near the level of drinking at Foxfield. At UVA games, drinking is a small part of the experience, indulged in by a far lower percentage of attendees. If they totally eliminated alcohol, they’d still sell out. Easily.

    At Foxfield, I doubt that 1% of the attendees can name a single horse, rider, or owner before they have a chance to look through the program. Take away alcohol, and Foxfield attendance may drop to the point where it will be financially impossible to continue holding the races. Few people go there as a result of an interest in horse racing. If they cancelled the races and kept the party, I doubt attendance would suffer too badly.

    As for transportation, no real effort has been made to provide mass transit to Foxfield. For UVA games, CTS, the police, and the University have done a marvelous job of constantly improving movement around the stadium on game days, and the downtown shuttle has been hugely successful.

    I have to imagine you didn’t mean to project that football games are also "a worthless act of vandalism disguised as tradition." I have no idea what the financial numbers are for a typical Foxfield, but my guess is the revenues cover expenses, with a little left over to go to the benefit charity. Aside from tailgate supplies, I would imagine the impact on the local economy is minimal.

    For UVA games, on the other hand, each one (assuming a decent crowd) generates over $2 million just in ticket sales, plus probably another $.5-1 million in concessions. That doesn’t include the hotel rooms, rental cars, tailgate supplies, restaurant meals, tips, and taxes generated as a result of a home game (ever tried getting a hotel room in this town on a football weekend?). It also doesn’t include the impact on our community of the publicity that attaches itself to a televised game. Networks have a knack for showing gorgeous establishing shots of the stadium and surrounding area that has to make the Chamber of Commerce drool because it always tends to highlight the area’s natural beauty and history.

  10. From Channel 29:

    Stephanie: a hearing scheduled to determine the status of foxfield’s liquor license has been postponed… the reason… the department of alcoholic beverage control sent the notice to the wrong address.. hearing officer robert o’neal says they sent the notice of the hearing to the address on foxfield’s equine liquor licensee instead of their mailing address. according to a-b-c officials, foxfield is being investigated for a peace and good order violation. o’neal says the mailing of the notice was an unintentional mistake and they will work with all parties to re-schedule the hearing for mid september.

    Anyone know what the heck "equine liquor" is?

  11. Big Al writes:At Foxfield, I doubt that 1% of the attendees can name a single horse, rider, or owner before they have a chance to look through the program.

    Well, suddenly I feel so very special in the glorious one percent — going to the Foxfield Races as I do, knowing some of the riders, mounts, and owners, as well as some of the organizers, and being there to see the races.

    Of course, while there, I also look forward to seeing my ole childhood chums who moved out of the area, as well as my friends from UVa days. While the former is more likely to be in town at Christmastime (visiting family) than in late Spring, a good number make both occasions; and most of my UVa cohort skips the sort of garish homecoming/football game weekend (the sort to which Big Al pointed as local economic engine) in the Fall in preference for Foxfield in the Spring.

    Perhaps an immodest proposal would be for Foxfield to aspire grow from its current (Spring; with good weather) level of 20K visitors to a UVa football game level of 61K and then well compare local benefits to costs . . . and not just the financial ones.

  12. if foxfield bans alcohol, you’re guaranteed to see attendance drop from 20,000+ to just a couple hundred. like it or not, foxfield has gone from being a sporting event to being a social event. i personally see the horse races as an excuse to have a huge tailgate party. i mean, if you can’t bet on the races, then what the hell is the point???

  13. This is a tempest in teapot. Twice a year some college kids get drunk at horse race. BFD. Can’t remember any reports of anyone getting killed or assaulted. What will the Puritans ban next – UVA football? (The kids drink, traffic is a nightmare, wah wah wah).

    PD

Comments are closed.