High-Tech Beer Delivery Hits Legal Snag

I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to think that the new Sazka Arena should be pronounced “Å¡aÅ¡kárna.”

Not only because of the truly odd way in which it was financed – a private company starts construction on an expensive arena for – you guessed it – hockey, thinks they’ll bully the state into paying for the thing, then its CEO throws a very public temper tantrum when the state says “get lost.”

Now comes word in Lidové noviny that there are legal problems with the arena’s much-touted beer delivery system, which regular readers of this blog will remember was covered here last November.

The system, which is capable of delivering 1,000 beers per minute through 168 high-speed taps, breaks a law banning the sale of alcohol during sporting and cultural events.

“There’s a law against that?” said spokesman Jan Vala of Bestsport, the company operating the arena.

Apparently so. “There really is a law in effect,” Health Ministry spokeswoman Aneta Kupková told LN. “In the paragraph in question it says: it is forbidden to serve or sell alcoholic beverages or otherwise enable their consumption in sports companies,” she quoted.

The same apparently goes for cultural events. Does this mean an end to the Kinokavarna, where I can knock back a highball while watching an art movie? Perhaps I digress.

The best argument they could come up with over at the Šaškárna is that alcohol is served over at the T-Mobile Arena, where Sparta plays.

A bill renewing the law on the prevention of alcoholism and drug abuse – which is where the paragraph in question can be found – has been stuck in Parliament for more than a year, and while it’s expected to pass at some point, it seems unlikely that the paragraph would be amended.

Of course, that could change. Freshly-appointed Health Minister Jozef Kubinyi isn’t against the sale of 10-degree beer. “It should be up to the event organizers if they want to or not. Beer is the national drink and it’s even cheaper than a lot of soft drinks,” he said. “I’ll talk about it with my colleagues and we’ll see if we can can’t change this. I’d be for a loosening [of the law]” he told LN.

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