EL PASO, Texas - Commissioners Court Monday voted to ban all alcohol sales at the County Sportspark.
It was a 4-1 vote, with county commissioner Andrew Haggerty voting against the motion.
Precinct 1 County Commissioner Carlos Leon made the motion. The Sportspark is located within Leon's precinct in Far East El Paso, south of Zaragoza and Montwood.
“We provide many services -- the county does -- we should not be providing alcohol at a youth park,” Carlos Leon said.
A motion to ban the sale of alcohol was first heard on June 5th. The motion did not pass, and Commissioners Court instructed County staff to come back with a survey to see what the public thought of alcohol sales.
The Alcohol Impact Network, in conjunction with YMCA, conducted the survey.
A total of 902 people were surveyed: 300 by phone and another 602 by paper or online interviews.
The survey reveals 61 percent of those surveyed believe it is not a good idea for alcohol to be served at the Sportspark. Thirty-seven percent believe it is a good idea. Two percent responded they were not sure.
This data was presented to Commissioners Court three weeks ago. The court then asked county staff to come back with more data, including the number of alcohol-related incidents at all county parks before making a decision.
Haggerty said he is not opposed to banning alcohol at the SportsPark. However, he said he's displeased with the way the Court has been handling the issue.
Victory Falvey, USSSA baseball state director for New Mexico and Texas West, spoke to commissioners during the public comment portion of the agenda item. He said teams from out of town won't come to El Paso because the Sportspark sells alcohol.
“Alcohol stimulates fervencies in people, and it’s not just one or two incidents. we have people who are drinking and start screaming and hollering at people," Falvey said. “I’s a kid-friendly facility. It’s supposed to be a kid-friendly activity. You have people spending $500 to get to the tournament who don’t want to see the drama of people who’ve had too many beers.”